Are We Really Headed There?

ECO welcomes the G7 environment ministers’ commitment to develop and communicate their long-term low-GHG emission development strategies “as soon as possible” and before 2020. The G7 should also show leadership by using good long-term planning to bid our carbon-based economies a rapid retirement. Here are six key steps they should take:

1. Take action now

Financial planning 101 is easy: you can’t wait until you’re old to start preparing for retirement! The G7 needs to commit to developing their long-term low-GHG emissions strategies this year, and call for the other G20 members to do the same by 2018. By respecting this timeline, the collective impact of the decarbonisation strategies are an important step towards the 2018 facilitative dialogue. This provides the basis for assessing the revised NDCs being put forward no later than 2020, on the basis of equity and the latest science.

2. Plan consistently with your objectives

If Parties are truly committed to keeping temperature increases well below 1.5ºC, then immediate action in all sectors and long-term development trajectories need to be consistent with this goal.

3. Maximise co-benefits

Long-term decarbonisation strategies are key in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and come with the added bonus of co-benefits. This includes improved public health, energy security, access and reduced fuel costs, to name a few.

4. Increase synergies

A little bit of foresight and planning will go a long way by enabling greater alignment between domestic and global short- and long-term goals. Countries can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, while avoiding high-carbon infrastructure lock-in by incorporating appropriate policies into national and local plans.

5. Send strong signals to the private sector

By taking the lead in signalling the end of a global economy built upon fossil fuels, and creating a positive policy framework for low/no-carbon investments, forward-thinking countries will help build investor confidence in climate-smart expenditures. In turn, these ramped-up levels of green investment will further reduce the costs of achieving deep decarbonisation.

6. Make decarbonisation plans participatory

These development strategies will impact, and require the full ownership of, the entire public. If these strategies are to be effective, their preparation must include full involvement by all sectors of civil society.

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