Aligning Policies for a Low-Carbon Economy

The OECE, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) publish a joint report « Aligning Policies for a Low-Carbon Economy ».

Although more and more countries are implementing climate policies, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen rapidly and remain too high to avoid severe and irreversible climate change impacts. One reason to explain this is « the fact that existing policy frameworks and economic interests continue to be geared towards fossil fuels and carbon‑intensive activities, as coal, oil and natural gas have fuelled global economic development for centuries ». « This creates a misalignment between existing policy frameworks and climate objectives, hindering low‑carbon investment and consumption choices. »

The report therefore seeks to identify the misalignments with climate goals in areas essential to the transition to a low‑carbon economy and formulate some propositions in 7 areas:

  • Low‑carbon investment and finance. « There is an urgent and unprecedented opportunity to ensure that new investment in infrastructure supports the climate agenda while fostering economic development. The additional short‑term costs of shifting to low carbon would amount to just a fraction of the finance needed for infrastructure overall. »
  • Taxation: « Subsidies and tax expenditures favouring the production and use of fossil fuels slow down low‑carbon innovation. Other taxes and tax provisions deserve a closer look (e.g. property taxes, various corporate income tax provisions), as they may encourage carbon‑intensive choices. »
  • Low‑carbon innovation. « Clear and credible government commitment to ambitious core climate policy instruments is an important spur for low carbon innovation. « 
  • Climate‑friendly international trade. « Some international trade barriers can undermine climate objectives. An Environmental Goods Agreement, currently under negotiation, would help to reduce the costs of climate mitigation efforts »
  • Electricity. « Ensuring competitive and timely investment in low‑carbon solutions will require new market arrangements such as long‑term supply agreements, as well as a robust and stable CO2 price signal. »
  • Urban mobility. « In many cities, land‑use and transport planning are poorly co‑ordinated and encourage greater use of private cars. Aligning policy action across levels of governments and between stakeholders could do much to deliver lower‑carbon mobility. »
  • Land use « requires an integrated approach that breaks down the silos between mitigation, adaptation, agriculture, food security, forestry and environmental policies. »

Read the report:


Health must be addressed by the International climate conference COP21

French public health actors (the French Public Health Association, the French Society of Environmental Health and the French Medical Council) publish a joint declaration »Health must be addressed by the International climate conference COP21 « .

The impacts of climate change on public health are often absent from the international climate talks, yet they are highly disturbing: deaths and medical emergencies, infectious diseases, physical and mental disabilities, breakdowns within the healthcare supply chain and the existing health infrastructure, and mass displacement of populations. .

Signatories ask the French authorities to explicitly include health in the final negotiations and commitments of COP21. They would also like to be recognized the legitimate role and place of health professionals who are involved at many different levels in providing healthcare for the current and future victims of climate change consequences:

Read the declaration here.

Financing the low-carbon transition

CDC Climate Research, in partnership with ADEME, published a factsheet on « Climate Finance », which outlines the implications of financing low-carbon transitions in international climate change negotiations.

  • What are the challenges of COP21 regarding finance? What is the Green Climate Fund?
  • How to raise the capital needed for low-carbon transitions?
  • How to encourage the private sector to get involved in the transition?
  • What is the role of financial institutions and development banks?
  • What are some innovative initiatives in this field?

Answers with the factsheets on CDC Climate Research Website


Infographic: What Do Your Country’s Emissions Look Like? (World Resources Institute)

The World Resources Institute has posted on its website a dynamic representation of greenhouse gases emissions by country and by sector in 2012.

The graph displays the share of global emissions each country is responsible for, and their source. The first 10 transmitters are responsible for over 2/3 of global emissions.

See Chart:



Running on empty: Why the UK needs Europe for more affordable and secure energy

In the framework of the energy research project between FEPS and Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) this is an initial report of the research so far. It addresses the need for more cooperation within Europe to ensure an affordable and secure energy supply. Improved interconnection between European member states would reduce energy bills and assure supply, therefore faster implementation of electricity infrastructure should be key in the EU 2030 climate and energy package, if not before then. At a time when we need to be encouraging growth across the EU, greater integration of our energy systems would improve competitiveness along with trade and job creation. Furthermore, it would promote credibility of the EU institutions at a time when it is lacking by working to meet policy ambitions.


→ Download the report:

Running on empty: Why the UK needs Europe for more affordable and secure energy
By Clare McNeil, senior research fellow at IPPR