Planning and implementing ambitious NDCs require capabilities in different areas. These capabilities, however, are not widely available among Parties to the Paris Agreement. Especially several developing countries are in need for capacity improvement on several NDC planning and implementation elements. First, assessing options for mitigation and adaptation requires ability to understand impacts of these options on countries’ economies and societies when implemented on a larger scale. Data limitations and unfamiliarity with possible impacts of (technology) options complicate such assessment in several countries. Second, scaling up prioritised climate options requires that systems are sufficiently enabling for that. In practice, both in developed and developing countries, several barriers form obstacles to such scaling up and clearing these requires financial, institutional, legal and policy capacity. The latter requirements are often difficult to fulfil in many developing countries, due to financial and institutional limitation, but also in several developed countries enforcement of climate and energy policies is problematic due to capacity limitations. To support developing countries in strengthening capacities for more ambitious NDCs, under the Paris Agreement the Paris Committee on Capacity-building has been established. The paper synthesizes the presentations and discussions on capacity building aspects related to planning and implementing NDCs, presents an overview of current support for capacity building under the UNFCCC, and provides respective conclusions.
In this report we review the research, development and innovation space of four low-carbon technologies with applications across different sectors: energy storage, syngas and power-to-gas, hydrogen and carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS).
We find that for energy storage, syngas and power-to-gas, and hydrogen plenty of funding opportunities exist in Europe for all technologies, which are aimed at demonstration (syngas, storage), and scaling up. Costs have come down over time for all technologies, but are still at a level that prevents competitiveness without policy intervention. In terms of regulatory barriers for each technology, storage, hydrogen and syngas are largely limited by insufficient levels of infrastructure.
CCS also is in need of social acceptance, on which it is challenged, in addition to smart policy design to push the technology out of the “technology valley of death” in which it is currently stuck. Policy incentives largely aim at improving economic competitiveness of the technologies now and in the short-term, but our review shows that long-term policy agendas with clear, integrative goal setting are equally important as it allows stakeholders to gain trust.
This discussion paper addresses how contextual factors beyond direct control of policymakers may actually influence the outcome of specific policy instruments. To answer this question, case studies were selected to cover six countries and two timely topics for climate change mitigation: measures to support renewable energy (RE) and smart technologies for energy efficiency (EE) improvement including smart grids. Despite the diversity of national circumstances and experts’ backgrounds, the main results converged to identify a small number of contextual factors that were observed in multiple case studies and acknowledged as affecting adoption or/and implementation of policy instruments.
This discussion paper presents the main findings from a meta-analysis of climate change mitigation policy evaluations in the European Union (EU) and six Member States: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom. In doing so, it seeks to provide insights into how evaluation practices might be improved, and responds to information and knowledge needs about the state of European climate change mitigation policies, which are expected to become ever more important in the context of the Paris Agreement and the forthcoming Governance Regulation. The study further aims to improve the understanding and to contribute to ongoing studies of European policy evaluation practices.
The European Union has often been described as a leader of climate change action, and convincing arguments can be found to support this leadership claim. However, recent economic, political and institutional developments such as the decision of the UK to leave the bloc or the rise of populist parties throughout Europe have put pressure on the EU itself and pose some significant challenges to its climate leadership role, particularly since current EU policies are unlikely to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 degrees. At the same time, with US president Donald Trump turning his back on multilateral climate action, EU climate leadership is more necessary than ever. This discussion paper shows how the EU has led on climate change issues in the past, and analyses the current challenges EU climate and energy policies face. It also presents suggestions for improving internal climate and energy governance, and describes how the EU could reclaim its international leadership role by strengthening existing partnerships with non-EU countries and capitalising on its extensive governance experience and climate know-how.
This discussion paper examines the broader architecture for global climate governance after Paris and offers suggestions for improving coherence within international climate governance that can be implemented by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, Parties to other international legal instruments, non-Party stakeholders, and other relevant actors. It begins with an overview of three significant areas of climate action initiated outside of the UNFCCC – focusing on other international legal regimes, minilateral climate coalitions and actions by non-Party stakeholders – and offers some indications of how such action may evolve in light of the Paris outcome. It then discusses the ways in which the United Nations climate regime is linked to action taken in other venues, with a focus on the Paris Agreement. The discussion paper ends with three suggestions on how those relationships could be strengthened, namely: (1) enhancing the visibility of non-UNFCCC climate action; (2) developing operational linkages; and (3) monitoring and review).
Institutional, economic and social contexts influence the formulation as well as the implementation of climate policy instruments. To design more robust and adaptive instruments, it is necessary to understand different categories and types of contextual factors that are central to EU climate change mitigation. This paper identifies three types of contextual factors: institutions and governance; innovation and investment; attitudes, behaviour and lifestyle. By categorising the contextual factors and mapping examples of how each factor shapes and influences mitigation policies and their outcome, this paper seeks to contribute to more systematic understanding and structured discussions for EU and member state policy-makers.