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Browse publications
Are major economies on track to achieve their pledges for 2020? An assessment of domestic climate and energy policies
Publication date 01 Apr 2014

Many of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries have planned and/or implemented domestic mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes, feed-in tariffs, or standards. This study analyses whether the most effective national climate and energy policies are sufficient to stay on track for meeting the emission reduction proposals (pledges) that countries made for 2020. The analysis shows that domestic policies of India, China and Russia are projected to lead to lower emission levels than the pledged levels. Australia's and the EU's nationally legally binding policy framework is likely to deliver...

China starts trading carbon
Publication date 05 Feb 2014

This article explains the nature of the new pilot greenhouse gas emission trading schemes (ETS) in China, as well as the significance of their introduction. By moving towards the allocation of emission rights through market mechanisms, the government is signalling that it is addressing climate change seriously and that it wishes to be compared to Europe and the most progressive regions of North America that have also adopted emissions trading. However, the authors also argue that a transition to a more important role for markets in the area of energy and the environment is still in its very...

Can CDM monitoring requirements be reduced while maintaining environmental integrity?
Publication date 22 Jan 2014

Monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) requirements in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are perceived to be of high quality, but also complex and stringent. Only one-third of the registered projects successfully managed initial verification and already received carbon credits.

Developments in national climate change mitigation legislation and strategy
Publication date 21 Oct 2013

The results are presented from a survey of national legislation and strategies to mitigate climate change covering almost all United Nations member states between 2007 and 2012. This data set is distinguished from the existing literature in its breadth of coverage, its focus on national policies (rather than international pledges), and on the use of objective metrics rather than normative criteria. The focus of the data is limited to national climate legislation and strategies and does not cover subnational or sectoral measures. Climate legislation and strategies are important because they can...

Possible Elements of a 2015 Legal Agreement on Climate Change
Publication date 01 Oct 2013

The paper proposes a clear process for regularly updating and strengthening national commitments. The climate regime needs to move out of continuous negotiation and into a framework of continuous implementation. The paper proposes no explicit differentiation of countries. Rather countries would propose nationally determined commitments, guided by the multilaterally agreed phase out goal and the international review. This would maximize participation. The Agreement should also include provisions for recognizing the actions of parties unable to ratify and for deterring egregious cases of free...

Regional GHG reduction targets based on effort sharing: a comparison of studies
Publication date 01 Oct 2013

Over 40 studies that analyse future GHG emissions allowances or reduction targets for different regions based on a wide range of effort-sharing approaches and long-term concentration stabilization levels are compared. This updates previous work undertaken for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Regional reduction targets differ significantly for each effort-sharing approach. For example, in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 1990 region, new proposals that emphasize the equity principles of responsibility, capability...

Countries’ contributions to climate change: effect of accounting for all greenhouse gases, recent trends, basic needs and technological progress
Publication date 01 Sep 2013

In the context of recent discussions at the UN climate negotiations we compared several ways of calculating historical greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and assessed the effect of these different approaches on countries’ relative contributions to cumulative global emissions. Elements not covered before are: (i) including recent historical emissions (2000–2010), (ii) discounting historical emissions to account for technological progress; (iii) deducting emissions for ‘basic needs’; (iv) including projected emissions up to 2020, based on countries’ unconditional reduction proposals for 2020. Our...

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