Many sector-level cooperative initiatives involving both national governments and non-state actors were launched around the 2021 Glasgow climate conference (COP26). However, there have been questions about whether and to what extent these initiatives could substantially contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

This article, published in npj Climate Action, assesses the potential emission reductions resulting from the implementation of the 14 Glasgow initiatives’ targets and the initiatives’ institutional robustness.

Main Results

We find that the additional emission reduction ambition of the current national government signatories would only fill less than one-third of the ‘emission gap’ in 2030 between the aggregate of existing national targets (nationally determined contributions: NDCs) and the required emission levels consistent with keeping warming below 1.5°C, while the institutional robustness varied considerably across initiatives. We also found that most national government signatories did not mention Glasgow initiatives in their updated NDCs submitted after COP26. Expansion of the national government signatories, incorporation of the initiatives’ goals into the national government signatories’ updated NDCs by setting quantifiable domestic targets, and enhanced institutional capacity are key to successful emission reduction outcomes.

Fig.: Potential GHG emission reductions resulting from full implementation of the selected Glasgow sector initiatives.

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