THE CLIMATE POLICY OVERVIEW provides an overview of the key climate policy issues facing the world’s major emitters at the start of a new year. The Outlook is intended as a guide for those who follow climate policy and who want an accessible and easily understandable introduction to current and emerging issues from leading researchers. The defining expertise of CICEP is the analysis of the political feasibility of governmental climate and energy policies. In this outlook for 2017 we focus on the most important new governmental policy issues in light of how the Paris Agreement is followed up.
The outlook contains a chapter for each of the seven largest emitters: China, the US, the EU, India, Japan, Russia, and Brazil. In addition, we provide a broad overview of international developments and have also invited CICEP’s user partners to write on topical issues.
After two years in which the world has taken important steps forward in crafting new climate agreements, 2017 promises to be a year of implementation and consolidation, and possibly backsliding.
The political will to improve the air quality has no doubt spurred a faster move away from coal-use than if GHG mitigation was the only motivation.
With Donald Trump as new president in the United States and the Republican Party in majority control of both Houses of Congress, big changes to the country’s climate and energy policies are expected in 2017 and beyond.
While EU climate ambitions may appear impressive, they mask significant political tension and differing interests within the EU.
The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the second half of this century. While many states have accelerated their efforts towards decarbonisation, Japan is no doubt a laggard in this company.
Brazil is the only developing country with absolute climate change mitigation targets, and can comfortably claim to be one of the countries that have the most ambitious plans for following up the Paris agreement.
India’s electricity demand will more than triple the next 15 years and the main electricity source will continue to be coal. This places a constant gloomy shadow over any tale of India and climate change mitigation.
In his speech in Paris in 2015 President Putin acknowledged the severe consequences of global warming, a far cry from the disparaging remarks on the topic he made some years ago. But the Russian ambition for emission reductions is still low.
Recently, UNEP's Emissions Gap report (2016) concluded that the ambition to mitigate climate change needs to be increased rapidly through non-state actor involvement including business, and through a stronger crossover with Sustainable Development Goals.