Every day, the earth sends greater signs of a climate catastrophe – from the melting of the poles to the weakening of ocean currents that bring warm water from the tropics into the North Atlantic. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the first installment of the Sixth Assessment Report on August 9, emphasizing, among other conclusions, that GHG (like CO2) emissions are not reducing, but rather increasing.
Unless we achieve significant reductions in CO2 and other GHG emissions, the world faces global warming of more than 1.5°C (and maybe even 2°C) this century.
The frequency and severity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some places, and the proportion of severe tropical cyclones are increasing, while Arctic sea ice, snow cover, and permafrost are decreasing.
With these dangers in mind, it is critical to improving public policies at all levels – from local to worldwide – to reach net-zero emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.
Better instruments are required for countries to combat climate change:
The OECD has launched the International Programme for Climate Action in May 2021. (IPAC). This program seeks to assist nations in their efforts to achieve net-zero GHG emissions and more resilient economies by 2050.
IPAC will assist nations in strengthening and coordinating climate action, as well as complementing and supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, through frequent monitoring, policy assessment, and feedback on outcomes and best practices.
More countries, subnational entities, organizations, and companies must set net-zero goals by 2050 or sooner.
Nationally, there has been encouraging progress toward Net-Zero. 12 IPAC members currently have net-zero objectives established in national law, three have submitted legislation in the legislature, and 18 have included net-zero targets in official policy papers.
A regional net-zero objective applies to European Union member states. IPAC will support national efforts to attain net-zero emissions and will assist nations in aligning their economic and social development objectives with the need to safeguard the planet.
Country effort alone will not suffice to achieve net-zero emissions. Subnational governments, towns, and businesses all play an essential role in accelerating climate action. In this regard, the United Nations Global Climate Action site, established in 2014, has recorded almost 25,000 activities by cities, businesses, and organizations trying to address and prevent climate change.
Long-term climate policies must be established and incorporated in legislation:
Without these indications of determination and clarity, marshaling political will to make cuts in important areas in the short term would be difficult. Article 4 of the Paris Agreement states that all parties “should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies that take into account their common, however, due to differences in national conditions, duties and respective capacities must be distinguished.”
Nonetheless, just 32 parties have submitted long-term strategies (LTS) to the UNFCCC secretariat so far, with IPAC member nations and the European Union accounting for 25 of these plans.
There has been a halt in the funding and deployment of climate technology:
Even though the majority of global CO2 emissions reductions through 2030 will come from already accessible technology, according to the International Energy Agency, progress is gradual and many industries are fighting the change.
The implementation of realistic, economically viable techniques that encourage these types of technology, as well as the necessary legislation to mass-deploy them, and the distribution of funding for green projects have not progressed quickly enough. Energy efficiency and reduced fossil fuel usage are critical for lowering CO2 and other GHG emissions, as well as short-lived climatic pollutants.
During a dire situation, COP26, which will take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, 2021, will provide an ideal chance to finalize the Paris Agreement Rulebook, improve finance flows, and accelerate progress toward carbon neutrality and climate resilience.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is actively supporting this collaborative endeavor.