62 countries now have 'flagship' legislation on climate change
- 27 February 2014
LONDON: Today a landmark study of climate regulation in countries across all five continents was released, revealing 62 states now have 'flagship' legislation on climate change.
The study, by Globe International in partnership with the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute, is the most comprehensive audit of climate change regulation, and draws on data from 66 countries that together are responsible for 88% of global emissions.
The research found that 61 countries have legislated in favor of domestic clean energy, while 54 have legislated for greater energy efficiency.
By the close of 2013, there were 487 climate change related laws or policies of equivalent status in the 66 countries which were examined for the study.
Furthermore, eight countries passed new ‘flagship’ legislation in 2013, bringing the number of studied states with ‘flagship’ legislation to 62. The report’s authors define ‘flagship’ as a “piece of legislation or regulation with equivalent status that serves as a comprehensive, unifying basis for climate change policy”.
Developing countries are demonstrating commendable climate leadership with almost all studied countries in sub-Saharan Africa having national climate strategies in place.
Similarly in 2013, El Salvador adopted The National Climate Change Strategy, a step which exemplifies emerging economies' accelerated progress towards the clean revolution.
China has also taken significant steps towards its low carbon economy, and in 2013 the nation published its National Adaption Plan. Next week, China's leaders will meet for the important Lianghui sessions, where a specific implementation plan for the country's pioneering low carbon 'eco-civilization' economy concept will be presented.
The Globe study has been endorsed by the United Nations, with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, stating:“Globe Climate Legislation Study gives policymakers clear options by showcasing national climate policies, regional progress and the effects of legislation.”
She stressed: “We can act to avoid the worst effects of climate change, but time is running out. Capturing our opportunity to stabilize the climate system, achieve the internationally agreed goal of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and safeguard development for future generations requires immediate action by leaders in every country and every sector.”
The report is particularly pertinent given that the UNFCCC Paris conference – which will be crucial for discussing the post 2020 framework - is just a year away. Delivering an ambitious international deal will be conditional on national governments passing effective climate legislation in the meantime.
The Climate Group will be publishing a briefing on China's eco-civilization blueprint on Monday.
By Alana Ryan
Image: Delegates at the COP19 in Warsaw