This document offers the ACT 2015 consortium’s ideas on how the 2015 Paris international climate agreement can play the most effective and transformational role in shifting the world to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy as quickly and fairly as...
WRI coordinated a global partnership of economic and climate research institutes to write a landmark report on the New Climate Economy. The report presented a compelling, fact-based narrative about how economic growth and climate action can—and must—be achieved together.
For as long as climate action has been a global concern, governments and businesses have assumed that curbing greenhouse gas emissions would come with prohibitive economic costs. Shifting this misperception is critical to helping countries take action on climate change.
WRI coordinated a global partnership of economic and climate research institutes to write a landmark report on the New Climate Economy, focusing on how economic growth and climate action can be achieved together. As managing partner, WRI assembled the research team, recruited a global commission, and secured the support and funding of seven commissioning countries.WRI was asked to lead the effort based on its reputation for rigorous, unbiased analysis and ability to convene high-level dialogues.
Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and Lord Nicholas Stern guided the project through a global commission of 24 former presidents and prime ministers, finance ministers, current mayors, CEOs and heads of major economic institutions. The team crafted a thoroughly researched global report and 10-point Action Plan, which the commissioners unanimously endorsed.
WRI’s Communications team worked with a global network to drive an international launch of the report in September 2014, garnering more than 1,600 media stories in the first days, including commentaries by some of the world’s most influential economic and financial opinion-makers. Within days, commissioners launched the report in New York, Oslo, Addis Ababa, Beijing and Johannesburg. Released just before the UN Climate Summit, the message became central to the narrative delivered by heads of state, negotiators and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The report presented a compelling, fact-based narrative about how economic growth and climate action can—and must—be achieved together, delivered by trusted thought leaders on a global scale. Changing the discourse around climate action during the UN Climate Summit and reaching billions of people through the media have already changed thinking. The report’s long-term impact will be evident as heads of government, ministers of finance and CEOs use the recommendations to shape their policy decisions. Engagement with key countries and sectors is planned for the coming year.
The Green Climate Fund, launched in 2014, offers an ambitious platform for contributions and investments in climate mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. WRI helped shape the Fund's structure, ensuring that ambition and rigor were built in so the Fund can deliver value and secure and distribute money to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Helping the world’s developing countries cope with a changing climate is a key challenge of the 21st century. To meet this challenge, it is essential to find the most effective way to raise funds and invest in projects that curb emissions and build resilience to the climate impacts that are already unavoidable. But the question of how to get the money to a wide range of countries most effectively has not been fully addressed, even as the need becomes more urgent.
The Green Climate Fund, shepherded by WRI from its inception in 2011 through its launch in 2014, offers an ambitious platform for contributions and investments in climate mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. Unlike previous major multilateral climate funds, the Green Climate Fund has a broad base of contributors among both developed and developing countries. Its 24 board members are balanced between developed and developing countries, and its administration is lean. The Fund is designed to work through partners, including national institutions like national development banks and international institutions like the World Bank. Private sector involvement is central to the Fund, which has the flexibility to use innovative financial instruments to encourage private companies to help tackle climate change, and to stretch the Fund’s resources.
WRI’s engagement helped get the Fund up and running in May 2014, ready for funding pledges well before the Lima climate negotiations in December. WRI helped ensure that ambition and rigor were built in, so the Fund can deliver value for money to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
As pledges of support flow in, the Fund’s investment framework lets it set priorities about how money can be invested for maximum impact. The Fund’s structure, shaped by WRI, enables it to extend its reach through a wide array of partners, balanced between national and international institutions, while ensuring that all partners meet high fiduciary, environmental and social standards as they move forward.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created GHG accounting and reporting guidelines for 10 industries, using the GHG Protocol’s (GHGP) framework and methodologies created by WRI and WBCSD. In 2014, NDRC mandated GHG reporting for more than 20,000 companies and organizations, all of which will measure and manage emissions based on GHGP guidelines.
China’s size and rapid growth have made it an economic powerhouse. Yet it’s come at a cost: China is the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter, burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. The country’s energy and manufacturing sectors account for more than 80 percent of its energy consumption.
Despite Chinese companies’ role in fueling climate change, most do not measure or manage their greenhouse gas emissions.
WRI, in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), created the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard, a framework for companies to consistently, accurately account for and reduce emissions. In 2013, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created GHG accounting and reporting guidelines for 10 industries, using the GHG Protocol’s framework and methodologies as a reference. In 2014, NDRC mandated GHG reporting for more than 20,000 companies and organizations, all of which will measure and manage emissions based on guidelines mentioned above. Companies reporting their emissions as part of China’s pilot Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)—which comprises five cities and two provinces—will also use the standards.
Since 2009, WRI has organized regular workshops and training with NDRC and local officials to make the case for mandatory emissions reporting. WRI worked closely with the China Business Council for Sustainable Development and the China Electricity Council to develop GHG accounting methodologies specifically for the chemical and power sectors. And WRI experts advised on the development of online GHG reporting systems for Jiangsu Province, Guangdong Province and Qingdao city.
NDRC has laid the political and technical groundwork for a national GHG reporting program. It will raise companies’ awareness on carbon management and help the government track emissions performance. Measuring emissions is the first step in getting companies to reduce them. If China — the world’s biggest emitter — can decrease its corporate sector emissions, it would help prevent warming globally.
What’s more, a robust GHG reporting program is imperative for creating a national emissions trading scheme, which is a key policy instrument for China to mitigate GHG emissions.
With China at an economic and environmental crossroad, ongoing cooperation on climate and clean energy with the U.S. can yield significant social and economic rewards for both countries. The benefits of this course can and must go together to tackle climate change and create vibrant economies for the 21st century.
To limit global warming to 2 degrees C will require enormous collective effort.
China and the U.S. have joined the EU by announcing their targets, and as the world’s top three emitters, the pressure will stay on them to deliver the most ambitious reductions possible.
As governments prepare to resume climate negotiations at COP 20, a key issue is the commitments countries are making to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.
A new report from the UNEP quantifies the magnitude for those commitments that will be needed in order to have a likely chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), thus preventing some of the most disastrous impacts of climate change.