2050 Low emission development strategies
Both short-term and long-term action plans are necessary to undertake a just, sustainable, yet cost-effective transition to renewable energy that addresses climate change. The Paris Agreement encourages member countries to formulate and communicate mid-century long-term Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) by 2020. In keeping with this, Costa Rica, a world leader in renewable energy, submitted a National Decarbonization Plan 2018-2050 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to the UNFCCC. The plan identifies 10 action points under four umbrella sectors: transport and sustainable mobility; energy, green building and industry; integrated waste management; and agriculture, land-use change and nature-based solutions. The following cross-cutting strategies have been proposed to realise this plan: principles of inclusivity and equality; institutional reform; green tax reform; finance and foreign direct investments; digitisation and knowledge based strategy; labour strategies for a just transition; open data and transparency; education and culture strategy.
The Green Deal
The European Union Green Deal is an all-encompassing long-term policy document for achieving prosperity with environmental sustainability. The programme imposes a target of 50-55% emissions reduction by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 across the entire block. These targets will soon be transformed into a legal obligation through the European Climate Law. In particular, the European Green Deal will focus on the efficient use of all resources but also work towards restoring biodiversity and reducing environmental pollution. The EU Green Deal will be implemented with a motto of “no one will be left behind” to support the communities that are likely to be most affected by this paradigmatic transition. The programme hopes to mobilise public and private large-scale investments in a post-pandemic recovering economy with implications for a large number of developing countries and EU partners. Key policy areas include clean energy, biodiversity, agriculture, food, industries, buildings, and mobility.
Transport in the nationally determined contributions
As the fastest growing source of GHG emissions, transport plays a crucial role in the global low-carbon transition. Despite the global economic downturn and the disruptive “new normality” that will likely follow the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s demand for transport is still expected to grow exponentially. Socio-economic dynamics in Africa and Asia will be central in driving this dramatic change. Unless growing economies of Africa and Asia introduce plans for transformative changes in their transport sectors, the risk of underachieving the Paris climate targets and, with it, the SDGs remains very high. However, an analysis of transport measures in submitted NDCs reveals that they currently lack the ambition and comprehensiveness required to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. This is why, as African and Asian countries revise their NDCs during this historic moment, they must put forward bold transport mitigation targets and measures.