Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). World Resources Institute. Massimiliano Riva et al. March 2020

How countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are implemented and improved upon over time will determine whether the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement is achieved.
Each country will prepare for and implement its NDC in different ways, based on the nature of its NDC, how the NDC was first developed, and its national circumstances. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 116 pages].

Climate Solutions Series: Deep Decarbonization Pathways

Climate Solutions Series: Deep Decarbonization Pathways: CSIS Briefs. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Stephen J. Naimoli, Sarah Ladislaw. March 10, 2020

Reducing emissions to lessen the long-term impacts of a warming climate has been a shared objective of the international community for decades. To date, progress toward this goal has not kept pace with pathways necessary to deliver a stabilized climate by the end of the century. The result is that the emissions pathways necessary to achieve this target relative to current activity are necessarily steeper and the energy and land-use system changes required are more abrupt. The current scientific consensus indicates that to stabilize the climate and prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we must reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by or soon after 2050.1,2 In 2010, GHG emissions reached 49 gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent per year. To reach net-zero, the world must reduce emissions through a combination of replacing GHG-emitting resources with zero-emissions sources and capturing emissions from the remaining sources that cannot be replaced. This resource brief explores how to understand the pathways to net-zero emissions and some of the ways to achieve this goal. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages].

Energy Policy Lighthouses: The Little Green Book

Energy Policy Lighthouses: The Little Green Book. World Economic Forum. February 5, 2020.

By many measures, the world is still in the early stages of a deep and profound transformation in energy, and industrial and agricultural processes. The aim of that transition is to achieve new policy goals for modern societies – among them, deep cuts in carbon dioxide and other warming gases. Success will require a reduction in emissions from current levels – more than 50 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents today, rising at nearly 2% per year in recent years – to essentially zero over the next few decades, while delivering the energy the world needs at affordable costs. This transformation will not be easy, for mobilizing meaningful economic change is rarely a simple process that proceeds without opposition. It is hard to pin down how quickly it may be occurring already. However, with smart policy strategies and profound technological change, the process can run faster, at lower cost and with more benefits to society.
This community paper focuses on the role of policy in these processes of transformation. The experience, so far, is that the societies making the most progress on deep decarbonization have all relied heavily on policy initiatives – to set ambitious goals, to create incentives for innovation and development and deployment of new technologies, to encourage scaling of superior solutions, to encourage new kinds of firms and markets, and to send clear signals about the need for change. With growing attention on the need for energy transformation, there has been increasing interest in the lessons from many diverse policy experiences. The key insight from this effort is that there are many good practices that can be replicated while new more innovative policies can be developed to drive deep decarbonization. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages].

Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition: The Case For Stronger, More Targeted And Coordinated International Action

Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition: The Case For Stronger, More Targeted And Coordinated International Action. Brookings Institution. David G. Victor, Frank W. Geels, and Simon Sharpe.  December 9, 2019

The world is committed to acting on climate change. At least since the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the international community has been united in its commitment to preventing ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’. In the Paris agreement of 2015, almost all countries set out individual targets or actions they would take towards meeting this collective goal. Earlier this year, the UN Climate Action Summit highlighted many examples of governments, businesses and civil society groups leading the way to a low carbon economy. There is general consensus on the need for deep cuts in emissions as rapidly as is practical. However, it is equally clear that emissions are still rising, not falling, and economic change is not happening anywhere near quickly enough. Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 71 pages].

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans

Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans. World Resources Institute.  Taryn Fransen et al. September 2019.

Published by WRI and UNDP, Enhancing NDCs: A Guide to Strengthening National Climate Plans is designed to help practitioners think through how to structure their country’s enhanced NDCs across three dimensions: strengthening targets to reduce emissions (mitigation), enhancing climate resilience (adaptation) and clearly communicating their actions to build trust and facilitate effective implementation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 76 pages].

Carbon Pricing in a Fiscal Context

Carbon Pricing in a Fiscal Context. Center for American Progress. Greg Dotson and Ben Bovarnick. June 29, 2016.

Opponents of carbon pricing argue that any requirement on businesses to pay for their pollution will destroy the economy. In order to begin to deconstruct this hyperbolic argument, this issue brief examines carbon pricing within the context of the nation’s budgetary situation. In fact, if the federal government were to collect a carbon tax of $25 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, that revenue would amount to less than 3 percent of the current budget. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 7 pages, 276.39 KB].

Suing and Spewing

Suing and Spewing. Center for American Progress. Erin Auel. June 24, 2016.

According to the report, the power producers affiliated with the lawsuits against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are responsible for 1.2 billion tons of carbon pollution each year. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 218.29 KB].

Comparing US and EU Approaches to Regulating Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy

Comparing US and EU Approaches to Regulating Automotive Emissions and Fuel Economy. Resources for the Future. Thomas Flier and Joshua Linn. April 26, 2016.

Following Volkswagen’s admission of circumventing emissions requirements, discussions have taken place on both sides of the Atlantic regarding test improvements to address the gap between lab-based test values and real-world observations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 9 pages, 496.6 KB].

Transformational Climate Finance: An Exploration of Low-Carbon Energy

Transformational Climate Finance: An Exploration of Low-Carbon Energy. World Resources Institute. Michael Westphal and Joe Thwaites. March 2016.

The working paper examines how climate finance can be transformational by gleaning insights from nine low-carbon energy case studies, selected to cover a variety of geographies, energy sources, and degrees of transformation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 50 pages, 1.17 MB].

China’s Carbon Future: A Model-based Analysis

China’s Carbon Future: A Model-based Analysis. Brookings Institution. Warwick J. McKibbin et al. December 31, 2015.

In 2007, China took the lead as the world’s largest CO2 emitter. Air pollution in China is estimated to contribute to about 1.6 million deaths per year, roughly 17 percent of all deaths in China. Over the last decade, China has adopted measures to lower the energy and carbon intensity of its economy, partly in response to worsening local air pollution from energy generation. At the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Paris in late 2015, China committed to furthering its efforts by affirming its previously announced goal to cause its emissions to peak around 2030 and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by the same year. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages, 626 KB].