To set the course for a net-zero emissions future, the 2015 Paris Agreement set a goal to limit warming to well below 2 degrees C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees C. To help meet this goal, all countries have an invitation to prepare mid-century “long-term low GHG emissions development strategies” (long-term strategies) (Article 4.19). Many countries are expected to present their long-term strategies in 2020 in line with this invitation (Decision 1/CP.21). However, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and resulting one-year delay of COP26, some countries may face delays in their preparations.
Civil society can play a crucial role in informing the design and implementation of ambitious and robust long-term strategies by generating ideas, contributing knowledge and expertise, identifying local solutions, engaging in robust stakeholder consultation processes and holding national governments accountable. Civil society and local communities also have a wealth of experience addressing social imbalances and promoting sustainable, relevant solutions. Outside of these formal processes, civil society groups can also organize and advocate to reflect their priorities in long-term strategies and, in turn, engage government officials and local governments in a dialogue to share their views.
This document provides a brief guide for civil society stakeholders to learn about the elements of long-term strategies, why these strategies are important and how to ask the right questions when evaluating a specific strategy. Further details are available in the resources listed at the end.