The number of laws passed by countries to help fight climate change has doubled since 2009, a report published on Monday showed, adding that three-quarters of the world’s annual GHG emissions are now covered by national carbon-reduction targets.
The study, carried out by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, found that 53 countries including the EU’s 28 member states have adopted either absolute or relative emissions curbs across their economies.
Michal Nachmany of the Grantham Institute, one of the authors, said the results show that the world can be “more confident” about the credibility of the carbon-cutting pledges countries are expected to make ahead of December’s UN climate summit in Paris.
“While collectively these pledges are unlikely to be consistent with the international goal of avoiding global warming of more than 2C, the existence of national legislation and policies should provide the opportunity for countries to strengthen the ambition of their emissions cuts after the summit,” she added.
The report found that by the end of 2014, some 126 countries accounting for 93% of global emissions had passed a total of 804 climate change laws – nearly double the 426 identified in 2009 and exponentially above the 54 recorded in 1997.
“Every five or so years the number of climate laws and policies across the world has doubled. This growing amount of legislation provides evidence that the world’s major emitters are taking serious steps to tackle climate change in their countries,” said Grantham professor Sam Fankhauser.
The study found that 75 countries plus the EU have frameworks for limiting GHG emissions, while 64 countries have frameworks for adapting to the impacts of climate change.
However, only 47 countries have introduced CO2 pricing through either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, while 37 have completed a fully comprehensive national climate change risk assessment.
The study’s results are to be presented to delegates convening for UN-backed climate talks in Bonn this week.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org