Rebecca Willis: What does a watertight national climate strategy look like? Living in Cumbria, I’ve seen this first hand. Local politicians say they want to be climate leaders. There have been some eye-catching renewables projects and efforts to reduce traffic on the busy Lake District roads. But the county is also proud of the new passenger airport at Carlisle, and now there are plans for a coal mine on the West Coast, which, if built, will result in nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of a million UK households. Ten tests for climate strategy. Here is my checklist of ten questions, which can be used to assess any national climate strategy, irrespective of the social, economic or political circumstances of that country, and irrespective of political inclinations. It is produced with thanks to the many people who have read and contributed to it. 1. Is there a clearly stated long term target, compatible with climate science and international responsibilities, written into law? 2. Is there vocal political leadership on climate change, confident narratives and a healthy debate about strategy? 3. Are citizens engaged, both through democratic means (voting, deliberative processes like citizens’ assemblies, wider engagement and consultation) and through the policies themselves? 4. Is there a plan to achieve this target over a clear timeframe (including the near term), distributed across different parts of government, including all ministries and government organisations, including local or state level government? 5. Is there independent measurement, verification and scrutiny? 6. Does the strategy cover all the crucial sectors, ie transport (including aviation and shipping); power generation; housing and buildings; consumption; industry; finance; land use and agriculture; climate impacts and resilience? 7. Is there a transparent and measurable process for the phase-out of fossil fuel exploration, extraction and use? 8. Are the distributional consequences of the plan being addressed – in terms of protection for individuals; different social groups; job opportunities; and local areas? 9. Do financial flows – government funds, the regulations governing private capital and trade, and development aid – support the climate strategy and provide the required investment? 10. Is there a clear strategy for negative emissions, with separate targets and policy for greenhouse gas removal technologies? This list is still a work in progress, so I would welcome further comments.
Green Alliance Blog 14th Nov 2019 read more »