The core message of New Climate Economy (NCE) – that economic growth and climate action can and must go together to spur 21st century development – has started to bring real change in at least four countries on three continents.

The Challenge

Taking the concept of intertwined economic growth and climate action from discourse to policy action is critical to shifting to a lower-carbon, more prosperous world. That requires changing the thinking of finance ministers and other economic decision-makers about environmentally sustainable opportunities.

WRI’s Role

Through a major report and almost 30 research and country study releases since late 2014, and by participating in over 170 events in 40 countries, including face-to-face discussions with eight heads of state and more than 45 government ministers, NCE has begun to deliver change in China, Colombia, Ethiopia and India, among other countries.

To shift public discourse and unlock political opportunity, NCE deploys high-level spokespeople, in particular members of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, to deliver its message to target audiences in key countries and the media. By drawing on the varied strengths of its institutional partners – such as WRI for cities and land use, ODI on development or Tsinghua University in China and EDRI in Ethiopia – NCE can develop and spread the evidence base and messages in specific areas and countries. Strong communication and engagement, aligned with targeted research, drives NCE’s rising visibility.

As managing partner for the multi-institute partnership that has developed NCE’s work, WRI’s NCE team helps to deliver relevant analyses, management oversight and communications through the global office in Washington and country-targeted support for high-level engagement through international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Turkey.

The Impact

In China, NCE partner research on the energy security and air pollution benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions provided evidence that supported China’s plan to peak coal consumption by 2020 and emissions by 2030. In Colombia, after a discussion with President Felipe Calderón, the Chair of the Global Commission, President Juan Manuel Santos instructed his ministers to integrate climate across the country’s five-year economic development plan. Ethiopia is reflecting the NCE approach to urban planning in its next national Growth and Transformation Plan. In India, NCE partners are working on a renewable energy feasibility and financing program with the Ministry of Railways (the largest energy user in India by some counts) following discussions with President Calderón and other Global Commissioners and partners.