This report presents an overview of recently adopted climate policies, climate-relevant responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and a state of play of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Long-Term Strategies (LTS) submissions in 25 countries and regions. The policy information compiled by NewClimate Institute, PBL and IIASA is an update of a previous report published in June 2019, and supplements the December 2019 report on the projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under currently implemented policies and mitigation commitments.
New policies identified that could help meeting long-term decarbonisation goals
This report includes over 60 mitigation policies that were adopted or under development between July 2019 and August 2020. Our analysis shows higher policy activity in the energy sector (25 entries), followed by the transport sector (12 entries), land use, land use change and forestry (eight), buildings (two), and agriculture (one). Most policy developments are expected to contribute to GHG emissions reductions; however, we have also identified explicit policies that could increase GHG emissions in at least four countries. These include the expansion of fossil fuel exploration in Colombia, a stimulus to palm oil biodiesel production in Indonesia, potential mining in protected area in Brazil, and several proposed rollbacks of legislations and regulations set under the previous administration in the United States.
Analysing the ‘greenness’ of recovery packages
The report also provides an overview of COVID-19 response measures implemented in the 25 countries and regions and, where possible, identifies sustainable “green” measures and unsustainable “grey” measures. Our assessment indicates that, with exceptions of the EU and Republic of Korea, most countries have not implemented explicitly “green” recovery measures.
Updated NDCs and long-term strategies
Countries are expected to formulate or submit their updated NDCs and long-term strategies well in advance of COP26 in 2021. Of the 25 countries assessed here, only Vietnam has officially revised its NDC target, whereas Japan resubmitted its original NDC target in March 2020. Of the countries assessed, five have submitted their long-term strategies to the UNFCCC and five have developed drafts or domestically adopted strategies. Two of them, Japan and the EU, have submitted their long-term strategies with net-zero targets; Japan aims to achieve a decarbonised society as early as possible in the second half of this, while the EU aims for net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.