Climate policy and the road from ParisKate Levick
This post first appeared on CDP.
We are only a few months into 2016, yet already we see the beginnings of the major effort that the world’s governments pledged to undertake when they created the Paris Agreement.
Fiji was the first country to ratify the Paris Agreement with a unanimous parliamentary decision on February 12, and further national ratifications are expected to follow in time for the official signing ceremony on April 22. The agreement will enter into force once 55 countries that produce at least 55% of the world’s GHG emissions agree to be bound by the COP21 outcome.
Meanwhile the political momentum on climate action has not let up since Paris. A cross-parliamentary committee in Sweden has proposed that the country achieve net zero emissions by 2045 instead of 2050 as currently planned. China’s lead climate envoy has said that the country is likely to “far surpass” its 2020 emissions reduction goal.
But we are also seeing the first signs of struggle ahead. The US Supreme Court has halted implementation of the country’s Clean Power Plan until legal challenges have been addressed, and although some US states are still continuing to put measures in place others have halted work.
The We Mean Business Coalition, of which CDP is a founding partner, has highlighted the strong business backing for this integral piece of US climate policy:
“Business and investors across the United States support the Clean Power Plan because it is a core component of the US climate commitment and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by an average of 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The economic benefits of the plan are clear. It will drive innovation, create new and better job opportunities and help grow the economy and increase the competitiveness of American businesses in the global marketplace.”
The US is also an actor in a controversial World Trade Organization decision against India’s promotion of domestic manufacturing element in its National Solar Mission to make the country a global leader in solar power, demonstrating that new ambitious climate policies must be balanced with trade rules.
These initial victories and setbacks are not isolated events but the beginning of the world’s transformation to a low-carbon global economy. We expect many more bumps and twists the road – but we must remember how important it is that we are finally on the move towards our destination: a low-carbon, climate resilient future.