2Smith School of Enterprise and the EnvironmentSmith Figure 1 - A map of countries of the world rated in terms of national actions and commitments on climate change. Annex I countries are rated based on submissions pertinent to the Cancun Agreements.'Very good': meet IPCC recommendations, Annex I: 25 - 40% reduction by 2020, Non-Annex I: submitted NAMA, 15-30% below BAU by 2020, or vocal in pressing for action.Those countries not participating in the UNFCCC process are coloured grey.
EnvironmentSmith School of Enterprise and the Environment3Executive SummaryThe challenges to policy makers raised by climate change are wide-ranging and the threats posed to society are substantial. It is now widely recognised that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation are of the greatest urgency and there is, at last, a clear mandate for effective political, technological and financial action on a global scale, although the process for achieving this remains frustratingly elusive.This report provides a summary of the international efforts to address the problem of climate change through the UNFCCC and G8/G20 processes. In particular, the outcomes of the Copenhagen and Cancun Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations are examined. From this, key lessons that can be drawn from the negotiations are: - The current actions pledged are still a long way from what is necessary: individual Governments need to take more action to curb emissions - New forums for negotiations should be utilised in parallel with the UNFCCC process, focused on bilateral and regional action - The pledge-and-review system set up in Copenhagen and Cancun is a useful way forward in the absence of an international legally-binding agreementThe report puts forward a series of next steps or actions that would be practical in furthering practical action. Notably: - Strong decisive steps are needed from key governments to place a long-term, stable and appropriate price on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This will signal to the corporate sector that climate change is to be dealt with seriously, and stimulate appropriate investment from that sector to produce market-facing solutions - Limiting emissions from deforestation is a key area in which incentives need to be put in place immediately - RD&D spending on clean energy should be increased with the public sector using its limited funds to leverage private sector investment - The co-benefits between energy security, economic stimulus through energy efficiencies and innovation, and tackling climate change should be highlightedThe report emphasises that funding for mitigation and adaptation in least developed countries is also critical. The Green Climate Fund set up at Cancun marks one attempt at achieving this. Equity is also critical to the climate change issue, and needs to be properly considered in any proposed solutions. Potentially running alongside other funding mechanisms, a cap and trade system based on a per capita emissions target by mid-century is proposed here as a potential method of generating financial flows from developed nations to the least developed world, whilst creating incentives for local decision making.To conclude, although the challenges raised by climate change are considerable, these challenges are also major opportunities for innovation and development. Executive SummaryExecutive Summary