ECO was pleasantly surprised with yesterday’s country announcements on long-term strategies (LTS) during the opening plenary session of the Talanoa Dialogue. AILAC and the EU both clearly marked LTS as solutions for tackling climate change. ECO believes such strategies allow countries to structure what they’re going to do to tackle climate and outline how they’re going to do it, and so are key tools in helping countries to break the “ambition ceiling”.
What was missing though, were details on country-progress on developing their LTS, implementing them, and beefing-up the associated shorter-term measures used to achieve them, namely the NDCs. Without this, countries were essentially making “feel-good” announcements that have no merit and provide no certainty on their commitment to de-carbonise.
Fear not though, ECO is happy to share some tips on how to develop and implement a robust LTS and thereby maximise your country’s ambition.
ECO strongly encourages all Parties to develop and implement economy-wide LTS that are consistent with achieving the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5°C and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is imperative that a LTS is ambitious, includes clear timelines for phasing out fossil fuels, is legally binding (to avoid them being dropped by any less ambitious future governments that may come) and is regularly reviewed and revised upwards for compatibility with achieving 1.5°C. All of these elements can help to provide policy predictability and demonstrate a clear commitment to fulfilling the LTS.
Accordingly, any shorter-term measures, including pre-2020 actions and the NDCs need to be reviewed to check that they’re consistent with a country’s long-term strategy and then enhanced in order to match the level of ambition in a LTS. To be clear, a LTS shouldn’t be developed to match the level of ambition in an NDC, because as we all know, the current batch of NDCs lead us to 3.2°C warming. Instead, an LTS as a tool can help a country to quantify the enhancement needed in its current NDC in order to be aligned with its long-term vision and the Paris Agreement, as well as laying out the many policy options and opportunities to be gained from stepping up climate ambition.
What’s more: ECO would like to highlight the wealth of expertise available outside the corridors of governments and ministries that can be provided by progressive business, civil society, employers, investors, trade unions, sub-national, regional and local authorities, faith groups, youth organisations, and a whole host of other relevant stakeholders. ECO strongly supports and believes that this wealth of knowledge needs to be tapped in during the process because a robust strategy that has been developed through a fully participatory process that engages civil society and other stakeholders, is ultimately more likely to succeed if stakeholders feel ownership of the plan from the outset.