WRI: Only 6 G20 Countries Have Official Long-term Plans for Reducing Emissions. Here are 4 Reasons They Need Them
The latest science is clear: Global emissions must reach net-zero by mid-century if the world is to have a shot at limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C (2.7°F), the cap necessary for staving off the worst climate disasters. While G20 countries are responsible for about 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, only six of them have communicated official plans for how they’re going to reduce their emissions between now and 2050.
The Paris Agreement invites countries to release their “long-term, low-greenhouse-gas-emissions development strategies” by 2020. These “long-term strategies” will be a topic of discussion at next month’s G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.
Here are four reasons G20 nations should take their long-term emissions-reduction strategies seriously:
- Economic Benefits
The G20 has committed to strong and sustainable growth, and climate action can help countries achieve this goal. Research from The New Climate Economy finds that the world could reap $26 trillion in economic benefits between now and 2030 by taking bold climate action.
The G20 is already showing climate leadership. Six G20 members have communicated long-term strategies, and many others are in the midst of developing them. Releasing these plans publicly can inspire other nations to follow suit.
Further, the G20 all have experience in planning over long time horizons, whether it be for climate, for energy or for economic development. For example, China has a two-stage development plan to complete its transition to a modern socialist country by 2050, to be achieved in two development periods (2020–35 and 2035–50). India sets a 15-year vision for the growth of all sectors of its economy, and translates it into a seven-year strategy document and associated sectoral plans. G20 countries can show others how to effectively tackle long-term planning as it pertains to emissions reductions.
- Innovation in Planning
Long-term strategies bring climate and development agendas together to create a new story for a country. This gives life to the concept of the Paris Agreement – climate change action done in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Long-term strategies are innovative in that they provide a platform for governments to engage citizens to think about the future they want, and to get themselves organized to deliver it. This kind of innovation is important to accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies, promote competition and reduce costs.