Global Spotlight Report #33: Developments in Climate Mitigation Policy: Mostly Good News

Introduction

Climate Scorecard recently asked our Country Managers to report on new and noteworthy developments in climate mitigation policy in their countries over the past 3 months. The results, with a few exceptions, were mainly positive – an indication that, despite the challenges of a global pandemic and worldwide recession, there appears to be a growing commitment to address the more long-term and globally consequential challenge of climate change.

For example, Australia reports on making a great leap forward in its use of renewable energy; China has made a new pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060; the European Commission has proposed a greenhouse gas emission reduction level over the next ten years of at least 55% compared to 1990 levels; France’s new economic recovery program contains a major component focused on the promotion of green energy; India has instituted stringent regulations to control the burning of agricultural rubble by farmers; in Japan, the new Prime Minister declared that his country will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050; Mexico has established an Energy Transition Law that states that 35% of energy generation should come from clean sources by 2024 and commits to achieving net zero net emissions by 2050; Spain announced the closure of 15 coal-fired power plants; Thailand proposed its first climate change law.

Of course, not all developments are as encouraging as those listed above. For example: Brazil reports being on the verge of a new serious climate crisis in the Amazon region; Germany will fail to reach its emission target for 2020; Indonesia, because of COVID-19, has backtracked on its commitment to climate mitigation; Nigeria released what is considered to be a weak National Adaptation Plan; and in the United States, Congress failed to pass the Clean Jobs, Economy, and Innovation Act.

More in-depth descriptions of new and noteworthy climate events in leading greenhouse gas emitting countries are provided in the Country Reports that follow.


Country Reports

Big Leap Forward in the Renewables Sector and Continued Lack of Federal Response to Climate Needs in Australia

The July to October period has seen some incredible leaps in the Australian renewables sector despite lack of federal government support. The state of Tasmania is currently legislating a world-leading 200% renewable energy target. In October, South Australia became the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered by 100% rooftop solar for any…

Read More
0 comments

Brazil is on the Verge of a Serious Climate Crisis

It is unsurprising that the same administration which vowed to take advantage of the pandemic to “pass the cattle” is also approving the easing of environmental laws. Brazil’s most relevant climate-related news is concerning given its preoccupation with legislative changes in conservation and the preservation of ecosystems. President Bolsonaro’s rolling back of climate mitigation and…

Read More
0 comments

Canadian Prime Minister’s Throne Speech Sets Forward a Sweeping Climate Mitigation Agenda

CLIMATE POLICY – Canada’s minority government received a confidence vote on its September 23rd Throne Speech plan (which opens every new session of Parliament). The pillars of the plan announced by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau are to: fight the pandemic and save lives, support people and businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, reconciliation, recognize Canada’s progress…

Read More
0 comments
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2019 file photo, smoke and steam rise from a coal processing plant in Hejin in central China's Shanxi Province. Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country will aim to stop pumping additional carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas, into the atmosphere by 2060. Xi's announcement during a speech Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, to the U.N. General Assembly is a significant step for the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and was immediately cheered by climate campaigners. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil, File)

China Pledges to be Carbon Neutral by 2060

China surprised the world in September with a pledge to take further action in combating climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The first pledge was made to leaders of the European Union mid-September, then reiterated in President Xi’s speech to the UN General Assembly. Neither announcement provided any details as to how carbon…

Read More
0 comments

EU Increases Ambition of Climate Change Goals

There have been numerous discussions in the EU within the past months regarding Climate Change mitigation efforts and it is becoming apparent the EU wants to fortify some of its ambitious goals. Some recent events that highlight the emphasis on the EU’s restructuring of its goals, as well as the larger discussion surrounding climate change,…

Read More
0 comments

France Economic Recovery Helps Promote Green Energy; Citizens Climate Convention Releases Recommendations

Green energy policy was accelerated in France last September as the French economy faced its deepest recession since World War II with a projected GDP drop of 11% in 2020. In the face of severe economic distress, a 100 billion euro stimulus package was passed to simulate the economy and drive job growth—a third of…

Read More
0 comments

Germany’s Government Discussing Conflicting Climate Strategies

Earlier this year it became evident that Germany will fail to achieve its emission reduction targets of 40% by the end of the year, reaching a reduction of only 35.7% compared to the 1990 levels. According to two independent studies ordered by the Ministries of Environment and Economy, at current conditions and standing policies the…

Read More
0 comments

New Federal Air Quality Guidelines, a Rise in Extreme Weather Events, and New Climate Research Studies in India

Listed below are some of the notable events that took place in India between July and October 2020, offering glimpses of India’s initiatives and new response measures to better build back the country in a post-COVID-19 period. New Federal Air Quality Guidelines India has long been troubled by the practice of stubble burning of agricultural…

Read More
0 comments

COVID-19 Sets Back Indonesia’s Progress on Climate Change Mitigation Goals

COVID-19 has been the focus of a majority of countries around the world this year and rightfully so. The virus has already claimed over a million lives worldwide and infected over 34 million people. In Indonesia, there have been over 300,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths. A majority of the world went into lockdown in…

Read More
0 comments

New Prime Minister Declares Japan will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Zero by 2050

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, Japan has since experienced several significant climate disasters and adopted new policy changes. In this report, we are highlighting some of the most significant changes. In late summers and early autumns, Japan is often hit by tropical cyclones that devastate regions along the coasts with very heavy…

Read More
0 comments

Mexico City Among the Latin American Capitals Committed to Climate Neutrality

According to Jorge Rickards, Director of WWF Mexico, urban centers are key for the creation of solutions and environmental policies to address climate change given they are responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions globally. Mexico City‘s Program for Climate Action 2020-2026 is a strong example of courses of action cities can take to improve reforestation,…

Read More
0 comments

Nigeria: Floods, Droughts, and a Lack of a Plan

These past few months have proven to be deeply challenging for the world as it reckons with the impacts of both COVID-19 and Climate Change. Nigeria, specifically, is struggling to cope with significant flooding and economic issues relating to the pandemic. Over the past two months, Northern Nigeria and the states of Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi,…

Read More
0 comments

Russia Takes Baby Steps in Climate Mitigation

President Putin has finally admitted Russia has been facing environmental and climate-related issues for years. A REGNUM correspondent reported that the President made this admission on July 13 at a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects. Gazprom says they see a niche for themselves in the European hydrogen strategy Konstantin Romanov,…

Read More
0 comments

Saudi Arabia: Hotter Summers, Fossil Fuel Bailouts, and the Production of Blue Ammonia

September 2020 It’s a race against heat, and humanity is losing Saudi Arabia has increased their air pollution amidst heat waves after their power plants burned more crude oil for air conditioners. In July 2019, the capital city of Riyadh registered its poorest air quality for the year as the average high temperature reached 43 Celsius. With…

Read More
0 comments

South Africa’s Establishment of a Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission

The cabinet of South Africa has approved the establishment of the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission on the 9th of September 2020. Its mandate is to  coordinate the implementation of  South Africa’s Low Emissions Development Strategy, and the revised National Waste Management Strategy 2020. The Commission also will coordinate the just transition to a low…

Read More
0 comments

Spain Shuts Down 30 Coal Mines

In July 2020, the government of Spain announced the closure of 15 coal-fired power plants, arguing the production of electricity was no longer profitable due to a combination of market conditions and political decisions by the European Commission. Coal emission prices make it so that it is more profitable for countries to produce green energy…

Read More
0 comments

Thailand Prepares Its First-Ever Climate Change Legislation

A Bangkok Post report from October 21, 2020 discussed the Thailand Government’s recent plan for finalizing the country’s first-ever Climate Change draft bill. In this regard, “the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will submit a draft of the bill to the cabinet for approval by the end of this year.” The Environment Minister Varawut…

Read More
0 comments

UK Government Talks About Climate Change But Isn’t Taking Substantive Action

Paris Agreement COP26, initially scheduled for November 26th of 2020 in Glasgow, has been pushed back a year due to COVID-19. This setback is not stopping the United Nations and United Kingdom from hosting an online celebration to mark the 5th anniversary of the historic Paris Agreement. In doing so they hope to strengthen global…

Read More
0 comments

Ukrainian Climate Goals Still To Be Determined

Along with the appointment of a new Minister, in June the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature Resources became a separate entity. Some sources (Shevchenko) argue that despite some changes made to the organization, many issues remain unaddressed including: Slowing down of determining a Second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to Paris Agreement; Delays in adjusting…

Read More
0 comments

Several States Pass 2050 Net-Zero Carbon Emission Laws While the US Federal Government Continues to Drag its Heels

Several American states recently strengthened their carbon emissions reductions targets. In August, Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, signed an executive order establishing the Climate Initiatives Task Force; they are charged with reaching a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and a set of interim targets of reducing economy-wide emissions 26-28% by 2025 and 40-50% by…

Read More
0 comments
x
x

Climate change is real, and what governments do matters.

Help us work with key stakeholders globally to ensure continued support of the The Paris Agreement.