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What is a long-term strategy?

Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), with the added aim of achieving net-zero emissions in the second half of this century. To achieve this critical goal, the Agreement calls for countries to increase the ambition of their climate commitments over time. Parties’ “mid-century long-term low GHG emissions development strategies” or “long-term strategies” are central to achieving the goal of limiting warming and preventing some of the worst impacts of climate change. A long-term strategy outlines how a country could pursue its development trajectory while phasing out net emissions over time. Long-term strategies provide an opportunity for countries to think through what the Paris goals mean for their own long-term emissions trajectories, and in turn, what this implies for the best ways to implement their mitigation targets.

Why are long-term strategies needed?

Ambitious long-term strategies are vital since current national climate plans (NDCs) are only sufficient enough to limit warming to 2.7-3.7 degrees C (4.9-6.7 degrees F). Not only do long-term strategies present an opportunity to bring national action in line with needed ambition, they also encourage countries to avoid costly investments in the wrong technologies. Countries were invited to submit their long-term strategies by 2020 and the first six countries – France, Benin, GermanyCanada, Mexico, the United States – did so in 2016.

What is WRI doing on long-term strategies?

WRI is developing a set of resources for countries on how to prepare long-term strategies. In addition, as more strategies are released, WRI will be carefully analyzing them to determine how they align with international goals and to identify opportunities to go further and faster in ways that maximize benefits for society. WRI continues to produce tools and research to support decision-makers and other stakeholders in better understanding how they can meet their climate targets effectively and efficiently, and contribute towards achieving the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement.

Check this page regularly to access our latest publications, blog posts, events and other resources related to Long-term Strategies. For media inquiries, please contact Beth Elliott.

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