UN report reveals best practice climate policies from around the world

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 22 November 2015

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has published a new report that’s packed with best practice climate policies from around the world.

It reveals a wealth of existing opportunities that could immediately boost reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

‘Science tells us that there is one path for us to be able to have a stable planet and a safe stable economy, and that is to get onto a below 2 degree path – that is fundamental – and policy is actually following science as it should.’

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC

Targets will fall short of 2ºC

Less than two weeks before COP21, the UN climate conference in Paris, Christiana Figueres announced that 168 countries – covering almost 90% of global emissions – have now submitted their national climate targets, known as ‘INDCs’.

If these INDCs are fully implemented, then we would no longer be on a track of 4 or 5 degrees of warming. Instead, we’d be on a track of anywhere between 2.7 and 3 degrees – a better projection, but not the 2 degrees (or below) that some countries would need for their survival and safety.

Sharing solutions

Christiana Figueres introduced the new UNFCCC report, Climate Action Now – A Summary for Policymakers 2015, as a ‘solutions’ guide. It explains how nations can deploy a wide range of proven policies and use existing initiatives to meet the common challenge of climate change and sustainable development.

The report also highlights both national and international cooperative actions, and the vital role of companies, cities, regions and provinces in realising bigger reductions in current and future emissions.

According to the UNFCC, the report provides – at the request of governments – a straightforward, inspiring go-to reference to assist ministers, advisors and policymakers pursuing climate actions now and over the years and decades to come.

A blueprint for action

The findings spotlight how effective policies across six key areas not only reduce emissions rapidly but also advance goals in 15 other critical economic, social and environmental areas.

‘Under the UNFCCC, governments have, over the past few years, led a significant effort during a series of technical expert meetings to identify and scope out the policies that lead to effective climate action – this report is the fruit of that effort.

‘It underlines the myriad remarkable transitions that are already occurring nationally and internationally in areas ranging from renewable energy to transportation and land use. In doing so it provides governments and their partners with the blueprints and tool-kits to cost-effectively catalyse action now and take the Paris agreement to the next level of long-term ambition.’

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC

Christiana Figueres also noted that the ‘remarkable reality’ revealed in this report is that the very policies that deal most effectively with climate change also offer a ready-made portfolio of actions that can equally assist the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UN Member States in September.

Click here to read the full UNFCCC report, Climate Action Now – A Summary for Policymakers 2015.

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