Climate Plans Enforcement - Resources

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2024


GreenPolicy360's "GRN360 Climate Plans Enforcement"

Calls to Action, Local & Global
"Turning National Climate Plans, Pledges & Promises into Reality"


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* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:CO2_photo.JPG


 

"We have to identify the problem, then act in many ways to solve the problem. Global warming is the threat of our times."
-- Jerry Brown, California Governor


"We’re going to need to use every tool in the toolbox if we’re going to solve this problem."
-- Michael E. Mann


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"It Is Time for Climate Action, It Is Time for Planet Citizen to Rise Up and Act"


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Question & Answer, a Q&A Session

Identify the CO2 Source Emissions, then Act to Enforce Each Nation's Laws Regulating Emissions

Tools for Planet Citizen Action, Community-by- Community, Nation-by-Nation


In the United States, the Supreme Court Shifts Away from Decades of Environmental Protection Precedent

Time to examine the US Supreme Court and its recent decisions subsequent to the appointment and confirmation of three new 'lifetime' SCOTUS judges. Let's look at the use of a new theory that has now become a tool for interpreting the legislative intent of the US Congress.

First, read this -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_questions_doctrine

Then 'compare and contrast' the consequences of three recent 'major question' environmental decisions as determined by opinions and votes of the three new judges.

Focus on Environmental Law Enforcement...

Question: To what extent does the US Congress have to draft legislation that specifically details the authorities, regulatory powers, exacting language of the reach of Executive Department agencies...

Those who lobby to limit the role of the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, have turned to new 'doctrines' targeting SCOTUS decisions with its new political majority. The legal road ahead is problematic now, given the Supreme Court's recent record.


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Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

International Environmental Law, Knowledge Database
Negotiator's Toolkit, Resource for E-Action


Regional and Global Environmental Treaties


1,256 methane super-emitter events occurred between January 2019 and June 2023, according to the new satellite data

Earth imaging advances make enforcement of environmental laws a priority


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Methane Reduction Action by European Parliament / European Union


'Parliament today adopted its position on a new law to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector to reach the EU’s climate goals and improve air quality.'

The new law is the first piece of EU legislation aimed at cutting methane emissions and covers direct methane emissions from the oil, fossil gas and coal sectors, and from biomethane once it is injected into the gas network. MEPs also want the new rules to include the petrochemicals sector.

Parliament urges the Commission to propose a binding 2030 reduction target for EU methane emissions for all relevant sectors by the end of 2025. Member states should furthermore set national reduction targets as part of their integrated national energy and climate plans.

Obligations to detect and repair methane leaks strengthened

Operators must submit a methane leak detection and repair programme to the relevant national authorities six months from the date of entry into force of this regulation, with MEPs demanding more frequent leak detection and repair surveys compared to what the Commission is proposing. They also want to strengthen the obligations to repair leaks, with operators repairing or replacing all components found to be leaking methane immediately after the leak has been detected or no later than five days after.

Parliament supports a ban on venting and flaring methane from drainage stations by 2025 and from ventilation shafts by 2027, ensuring safety for workers in coalmines. It also obliges EU countries to establish mitigation plans for abandoned coalmines and inactive oil and fossil gas wells.

Imported fossil energy must also live up to the new rules

As imports make up over 80% of the oil and gas consumed in the EU, MEPs want, from 2026, importers of coal, oil and gas to be obliged to demonstrate that imported fossil energy also meets the requirements in the regulation. Imports from countries with similar requirements for methane emissions shall be exempted.

The Greens

After the vote the rapporteur, Jutta Paulus (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, DE) said: "Today's vote is a commitment to more climate protection and energy sovereignty in Europe. Without ambitious measures to reduce methane emissions, Europe will miss its climate targets and valuable energy will continue to be wasted. We call for ambitious and stringent methane reduction measures. In the energy sector, three quarters of methane emissions can be avoided through simple measures and without large investments. As Europe imports more than 80% of the fossil fuels it burns, is essential to expand the scope to energy imports."

Next steps

Parliament adopted its position with 499 votes in favour, 73 against and 55 abstentions and is now ready to start negotiations with Council on the final text of the legislation.


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Background

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and air pollutant and is responsible for approximately a third of current global warming. It comes from a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, waste and energy, which are responsible respectively for 53%, 26% and 19% of EU methane emissions according to the European Environment Agency. Today, methane emissions are covered under the targets in the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation.

The EU has signed up to the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050.


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Nations Agree on Language for Historic Treaty to Protect Ocean Life

The United Nations agreement is a significant step toward protecting biodiversity under growing threat from climate change, overfishing and seabed mining

March 4, 2023


After two decades of planning and talks that culminated in a grueling race over the past few days in New York, a significant majority of nations agreed on language for a historic United Nations treaty that would protect ocean biodiversity.

As marine life faces threats from climate change, overfishing, the possibility of seabed mining and other dangers, the treaty would make it possible to create marine-protected areas and enact other conservation measures on the “high seas,” the immense expanse of ocean covering almost half the world.

“Today the world came together to protect the ocean for the benefit of our children and grandchildren,” said Monica Medina, an assistant secretary of state. “We leave here with the ability to create protected areas in the high seas and achieve the ambitious goal of conserving 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.”


Nations Agree on Language for Historic Treaty to Protect Ocean Life

GreenPolicy360: This is historic and a foundation of legal agreement to build on... The text of the High Seas agreement comes after decades of geopolitical negotiating over ocean resources, rights and responsibilities of nations to the protection of oceans and ocean life, and now moves on to the realities of legal enforcement of promises/pledges that have now been memorialized


Nations agree on ‘world-changing’ deal to protect ocean life

More than 190 countries have reached a landmark deal for protecting the biodiversity of the world’s oceans, agreeing for the first time on a common framework for establishing new protected areas in international waters.


Via the Associated Press

Nichola Clark: “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect the oceans — a major win for biodiversity.”


The treaty will create a new body to manage conservation of ocean life and establish marine protected areas in the high seas. Clark said that’s critical to achieve the U.N. Biodiversity Conference’s recent pledge to protect 30% of the planet’s waters, as well as its land, for conservation.

Treaty negotiations initially were anticipated to conclude Friday (March 3), but stretched through the night and deep into Saturday. The crafting of the treaty, which at times looked in jeopardy, represents “a historic and overwhelming success for international marine protection,” said Steffi Lemke, Germany’s environment minister.


(Note from GreenPolicy360: Lemke is a member of the German Green Party and one of the co-founders of the Green Party in the GDR in 1989... see more about the Greens, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen who hold a number of top positions in the current German government -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_90/The_Greens)


“For the first time, we are getting a binding agreement for the high seas, which until now have hardly been protected,” Lemke said. “Comprehensive protection of endangered species and habitats is now finally possible on more than 40% of the Earth’s surface.”


The question now is how well the ambitious treaty will be implemented.

Formal adoption also remains outstanding, with numerous conservationists and environmental groups vowing to watch closely.

The high seas have long suffered exploitation due to commercial fishing and mining, as well as pollution from chemicals and plastics. The new agreement is about “acknowledging that the ocean is not a limitless resource, and it requires global cooperation to use the ocean sustainably...”



Via ICUN.org

International Union for Conservation of Nature

We congratulate the President of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, the secretariat of the UN, and all the state delegates for their efforts.

“The High Seas Treaty opens the path for humankind to finally provide protection to marine life across vast swathes of the ocean. Its adoption will close a significant gap in international law and offer a framework for governments to work together to protect global ocean heath, climate resilience, and the socioeconomic wellbeing and food security of billions of people. We stand ready to support its implementation,” says IUCN Director General, Dr Bruno Oberle.

Although more ambitious measures will be needed, this legally-binding agreement marks an important step towards protecting the two-thirds of the ocean that lies beyond national jurisdiction.

IUCN particularly applauds the alignment of the Treaty with other international commitments including the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and the creation of a special fund to finance the rehabilitation and ecological restoration of marine biodiversity.

IUCN and its Members have been advocating for such an agreement for two decades and have been providing scientific and legal advice to negotiators since the start of the formal negotiations (in 2018), in particular on provisions concerning area-based management tools, especially marine protected areas. Commitments must now be implemented in ways that help address climate change and the many threats to marine ecosystems, and guarantee the critical benefits marine ecosystems provide to people.

IUCN is calling for adoption and ratification to be fast-tracked, to bring the High Seas Treaty into force. The Union is offering its continued support to Parties and stakeholders to lay the foundation for a rapid, effective, and equitable implementation.


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GreenPolicy360: Environmental Law Takes Precedent-Setting Legal Step after Decades of Negotiations

Future generations will look back this High Seas Treaty and ask why it took so long

We ask it's time 'to get to work' with enforcement, there is no time for delay


The agreement comes 41 years after Ambassador Tommy Koh served as President of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (known as resolution 2340 (XXII) of 18 December 1967), which led to the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea and now another Singapore Ambassador, Rena Lee, has presided over successful negotiations on the UN high seas treaty.


Here are links to the legal documents: Intergovernmental conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction

Fifth session

New York, 20 February – 3 March 2023

Further refreshed draft text of an agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction


UN Secretary General António Guterres said on the landmark treaty:

"Our ocean has been under pressure for decades. We can no longer ignore the ocean emergency. In adopting a robust and ambitious agreement at this meeting, you can take an important step forward in countering these destructive trends and advancing ocean health for generations to come. This treaty can ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of over two-thirds of our life-sustaining ocean space."

UN Ambassador for the Oceans and Law of the Sea Issues Rena Lee said:

"Yesterday I mentioned the way forward, we have finish the text of the agreement. We will run through the text for technical edits. The text will then be translated into all six language versions and time to be specified. We will then formally adopt the text in all six official languages of the United Nations."



Via the High Seas Alliance

There are five main elements to the High Seas Treaty:

'Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

High seas ecosystems, critical to the continuation of life in the ocean, are conserved by the establishment of fully protected, well-managed networks of marine protected areas.


Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)

Any proposed activity on the high seas that may negatively affect marine life is prematurely evaluated by scientists and relevant stakeholders.


Access & Benefit Sharing of Marine Genetic Resources

Developing nations have access to, and are able to benefit from, biological genetic materials discovered on the high seas.


Capacity-Building & Marine Technology Transfer

Developing nations have the capacity, technology, and educational/research opportunities necessary to participate in deep sea science.


Cross-cutting Issues

These are issues that affect a number of elements and are integrated throughout the new agreement.


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* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Climate_Change_Litigation_Databases_Climate_Law.png

* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Climate_Change_Laws_of_the_World_-_database.PNG


* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Glasgow_Climate_Summit_-_Pledges,_Promises,_Declarations_-_What%27s_Next_Up


* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Climate_News_-_United_Nations_Report_-_Feb_2022.png

* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Methods_to_enforce_climate_pledges-NDCs_-_Dec_2021.png

* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:Climate_News_-_United_Nations_Report_-_Feb_2022.png


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GreenLaw360 | GreenLaw360.com


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Climate Problems, Climate Solutions


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Planet Citizen Action


Methods to Enforce Climate Plan Pledges

GreenPolicy360: Climate Plans Enforcement Initiative

Pressuring Nations to Step Up, Cooperate, and Act Now

Environmental Laws, Regs, Rules... Lawsuits & Legal Actions

Glasgow (2021) & Paris (2015) Summits: Int'l Climate Plan Pledges & Promises (INDCs-NDCs)


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National Climate Pledges Must Be Enforced

How to turn each nation's climate pledges into 'effective climate action'
Promises & pledges of international climate summits in Paris (2015) & Glasgow (2021) now require & demand 'climate plans enforcement'
Measuring & monitoring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with satellite missions can become a cooperative climate tool 'working nation-by-nation'


You can manage only what you can measure Dr David Crisp, OCO-2, June 2014 m.jpg


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2022


At Global Climate Conference, COP27


New Climate TRACE Emissions Database Announced at the 2022 Global Climate Conference (COP27)

Earth Observation technology, decades of earth science and imaging with a goal, is now ready for prime time


GreenPolicy360: THIS announcement is a game changer (and a tip of our green hat to those who purposefully set in motion a 1970s era plan to develop and launch a series of NASA missions to observe and understand our planet). Now comes country-by-country climate regulation, enforcement and emissions controls, political action and legal services. (From the original Mission Statement of NASA -- “To understand and protect our home planet...")

Follow our GreenPolicy360 "Climate Plans Enforcement" project for more information on the Climate TRACE coalition.


Global Emissions Inventory is 'Secret Weapon' at COP27

November 2022 / Climate TRACE coalition unveils a new, highly detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which will help countries and companies looking for effective, targeted ways to decarbonize.



U.S. Climate Representative Focuses In On Methane Mitigation and Cuts Pledge


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Global Methane Pledge


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Time for Planet Citizen Action and a "CEOS", a Committee on Earth Observation Satellites

GreenPolicy360 welcomes the arrival of a global science mission, a "Global Stocktake", a collection of earth science data to be made available to the community of nations, to planet citizen activists and scientists, educational institutions, non-profits, NGOs, young and old to become tools for legal enforcement of national climate plans & pledges


Systematic Observations of the Earth


Preparing for Next Year's First GST / Global Stocktake Meeting

Systematic observations of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface from ground-based, airborne and space-based sensors can support both the Mitigation and Adaptation goals of the 2015 Global Climate Conference - Paris Agreement.


More Links/References/Resources for Global Stocktake


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NASA Begins Tracking Methane 'Hotspots'

* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:NASA_has_a_new_mission..._against_Methane.png


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July 2022


NEWS


Most major nations lag in acting on climate-fighting goals

By SETH BORENSTEIN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 19, 2022


WASHINGTON (AP) — For most of the major carbon-polluting nations, promising to fight climate change is a lot easier than actually doing it. In the United States, President Joe Biden has learned that the hard way.

Among the 10 biggest carbon emitters, only the European Union has enacted polices close to or consistent with international goals of limiting warming to just a few more tenths of a degrees, according to scientists and experts who track climate action in countries.

But Europe, which is broiling through a record-smashing heat wave and hosting climate talks this week, also faces a short-term winter energy crunch, which could cause the continent to backtrack a tad and push other nations into longer, dirtier energy deals, experts said.

“Even if Europe meets all of its climate goals and the rest of us don’t, we all lose,” said Kate Larsen, head of international energy and climate for the research firm Rhodium Group. Emissions of heat-trapping gases don’t stop at national borders, nor does the extreme weather that’s being felt throughout the Northern Hemisphere.


“It’s a grim outlook. There’s no getting away from it, I’m afraid,” said climate scientist Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics. His group joined with the New Climate Institute to create the Climate Action Tracker, which analyzes nations’ climate targets and policies compared to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The tracker describes as “insufficient” the policies and actions of the world’s top two carbon polluters, China and the U.S., as well as Japan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. It calls Russia and South Korea’s polices “highly insufficient,” and Iran comes in as “critically insufficient.” Hare says No. 3 emitter India “remains an enigma.”

“We are losing ground against ambitious goals” such as keeping global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or 1.5 Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, said veteran international climate negotiator Nigel Purvis of Climate Advisers. The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times...


Read the Full AP Article


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July 22, 2022

The 'Implementation Gap'

European Climate 'Mitigation Ambition' and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Policy outputs are failing to fully translate into the intended policy outcomes


The difference between current climate policies and greenhouse-gas neutrality targets points to an implementation gap


Open Access Journal (Creative Commons):

Abstract: The European Union and Germany have recently committed themselves to greenhouse-gas neutrality by 2050 and 2045, respectively. This substantially reduces their gaps in ambition to the Paris climate goals. However, the current climate policy mix is not sufficient to reach these targets: There is a major implementation gap. Based on economic, legal, and political science perspectives, this article identifies key obstacles in legislating stringent climate policy instruments and making them effective. Using a simple framework, we map the stage of the process in which the obstacles are at work. Moreover, we discuss the potential effectiveness of a select list of prominent drivers of climate-related regulation in overcoming said obstacles and conclude by pointing towards conditions for closing the implementation gap. In doing so, we focus on the current legislative processes of the “Fit-for-55” (green transition) package by the European Commission and the 2021 Federal Climate Change Act (in Germany).


The EU's plan for a green transition - Fit for 55: Turning climate goals into law

Infographics explain the Fit for 55 package, the key areas of action for the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the decision-making process for turning the proposals into EU law.

As part of the European Green Deal, with the European Climate Law, the EU has set itself a binding target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This requires current greenhouse gas emission levels to drop substantially in the next decades. As an intermediate step towards climate neutrality, the EU has raised its 2030 climate ambition, committing to cutting emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The EU is working on the revision of its climate, energy and transport-related legislation under the so-called 'Fit for 55 package' in order to align current laws with the 2030 and 2050 ambitions. A number of new initiatives are also included in the package.


1. Introduction

The world is currently heading towards well above 2°C warming by 2100 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], in press‐a; Sognnaes et al., 2021), which indicates the failure of the Paris Agreement. The reason for this can be broken down into two deficiencies of climate‐related regulation: the ambition gap and the implementation gap. The ambition gap is defined in relation to the carbon budget implied by the 1.5°‐to‐well‐below‐2.0°C corridor set by the Paris Agreement (Friedlingstein et al., 2022). Thus, the gap is essentially an incongruity between the agreed‐upon goal and states’ emission reduction pledges in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The adoption of net‐zero emission targets by several countries has sparked hopes that the ambition gap is shrinking (Meinshausen et al., 2022).

Much less attention has been devoted to the implementation gap which is the subject of this article. Echoing the new emphasis on the implementation gap in the IPCC’s Working Group III summary for policymakers (IPCC, in press‐b), which defines this gap as the difference between implemented policies and NDCs, we argue that the bottom‐up elements of the Paris Agreement require shifting the attention to this gap and zooming in on the conditions for closing it. In what follows, implementation refers to what is required to move from a jurisdiction’s respective abatement target to the target being met. Hence, it includes the policy‐formulation stage as far as it concerns climate policy instruments aiming to bring emissions in line with the climate targets adopted but not the process of adopting the targets. We define the implementation gap as the difference between a jurisdiction’s targeted reduction path and the actual and projected reductions achieved with the current set of climate policy instruments (policy outcome). We subdivide the implementation gap into two components: First, the stringency of policy outputs might not be in line with the targets, and second, policy outputs fail to fully translate into the intended policy outcomes. The implementation gap thus captures insufficient stringency as well as limitations arising from counterproductive interactions and imperfect enforcement of concrete sets of policy instruments put in place to achieve a jurisdiction’s abatement targets. Recent quantitative assessments indicate that the magnitude of the implementation gap is substantial (IPCC, in press‐b; Liu & Raftery, 2021; REN21, 2021).

The EU and Germany have seen major increases in mitigation ambition since 2020. The new European Commission (EC) has pledged greenhouse‐gas (GHG) neutrality by 2050, a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, and has announced the European Green Deal as its key transformation narrative and policy framework. In July 2021, the EC presented a set of legal initiatives to overhaul the entire set of climate policy instruments making them “Fit for 55,” i.e., the 55% reduction target (Schlacke et al., 2022). In light of the new EU targets, a historic ruling by its constitutional court, and the upcoming federal elections, Germany raised its ambition in 2021 to GHG neutrality by 2045. One might be tempted to conclude that committing to these targets will induce the required mitigation efforts. The fundamental transformation of production processes, infrastructure, and lifestyles requires stringent climate‐policy instruments. Several concerns motivate the focus on the obstacles to closing the implementation gap. First, only part of the implementation gap is due to recent increases in ambition. Current policies are also insufficient to meet the previous, less ambitious targets (Edenhofer et al., 2021). Second, the recent rise in energy prices spurred severe opposition both to the “Fit for 55” proposal (van Gaal, 2021) as well as key existing policies such as the EU Emission Trading System (ETS; Morawiecki, 2022). Third, governance mechanisms might be insufficient (Knodt et al., 2021). Fourth, current emission trajectories and government assessments confirm the relevance of the implementation gap. Emissions in Germany have risen substantially from 2021 to 2022, including a 17% increase in emissions from coal‐fired power plants with sector targets in housing and transport being missed (Federal Environment Agency & German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, 2022). In January 2022, the German government stated that “the speed of climate action must nearly triple” (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, 2022, p. 1) to achieve the adopted targets.

After presenting a conceptual framework that decomposes the implementation gap into two main components and helps structure our analysis in Section 2, we zoom in on the implementation gap in the EU and Germany and explore key obstacles to closing it in Section 3. In Section 4, we assess how effective a select list of prominent drivers of climate‐related regulation is in overcoming these obstacles. Along the way, we suggest avenues for further research.

2. Conceptual Framework

The process of moving from a formalized abatement target to actually cutting emissions in line with said target involves several steps and many intertwining threads. Each thread typically involves at least one policymaking process where a climate policy instrument is (re‐)designed and legislated. The new or revised instrument then impacts current and future emissions by directly and indirectly creating incentives for consumers and producers to change behaviors and technologies.

The impact on emissions qualitatively and quantitatively depends on the design of the instrument, its interactions with other instruments, enforcement, and the economic, political, and cultural context.


Read the Full Study:



GreenPolicy360:

Climate Plans Enforcement Must Be Our Priority


Earth Flag-2.png Climate News
Time to act to make a positive difference


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* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:UN_NDC_Registry_-_website_database.png


United Nations

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) | Climate Plans

View your country's official plans and pledges for climate action


(GreenPolicy360 INDC/ NDC Climate Plans 'Snapshot' as of 2016)

Paris Climate Summit 195 Nations Challenged INDCs.png


GreenPolicy360: Visit Individual Countries / Climate Plans



(U.N. Climate Plans Database as of 2022)


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Sixth United Nations Climate Change Assessment Report

Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability'


February 28, 2022 / Global News

IPCC adaptation report ‘a damning indictment of failed global leadership on climate’


The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change.


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* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:IPCC_Report_-_Feb_2022.jpg


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Loading map...


(As of 2016)

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GreenPolicy360: Visit Individual Countries / Climate Plans


World Resources Institute (WRI): Climate Watch... Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Data


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Climate-Related Laws/Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations, Rules | Law Making & Rules Making

Visit Environmental Laws @GreenPolicy360 -- https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/Category:Environmental_Laws


GreenLaw360.com - Climate Plans Enforcement (Climpe.com database in dev)
GreenLaw360.com - Climate Plans Enforcement (Introduction/Resources)


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We may be approaching a legal tipping point for fossil fuel companies and the spin masters that work for them

By Sharon Y Eubanks, Esq

Via The Guardian / July 5, 2022


In 2005, I was the lead counsel on behalf of the US in one of the biggest corporate accountability legal actions ever filed. That trial proved that the tobacco industry knew it was selling and marketing a harmful product, that it had funded denial of public health science, and had used deceptive advertising and PR to protect assets instead of protecting consumers.

Today, the fossil fuel industry finds itself in the same precarious legal position as the tobacco industry did in the late 1990s. The behaviour and goals of the tobacco and petroleum industries are pretty similar – and there are many similarities in their liabilities.

Both industries lied to the public and regulators about what they knew about the harms of their products. Both lied about when they knew it. And like the tobacco industry while I was in public service, the deceptive advertising and PR of the fossil fuel industry is now under intense legal scrutiny.

And the tide is beginning to turn. More than 1,800 lawsuits have been filed over climate liability worldwide. Many of these concern the misleading fake science that the industry purposely distributed to the public for decades, denying that its product was the leading cause of global climate change. Exxon knew the reality of climate change in the late 1970s and then later invested in telling the public it was not happening. The French giant Total knew and similarly funded efforts to mislead the public at around the same time.

You can see echoes of the tobacco strategy in each of the memos from corporate scientists studying the climate at fossil fuel companies. Since the 1950s, tobacco companies have been certain of the health impacts of their products. Still, they spent the next 40 years developing public affairs strategies that downplayed the problem and sought to make their products more habit-forming. They did it through additives and marketing to children. At the same time, fossil fuel companies strive to keep us hooked by fighting regulations to move us towards low-carbon transportation and fearmongering about the climate transition.

They also both funnelled money into promoting fake science. The American Petroleum Institute and Exxon injected large grants into the climate denial research of astrophysicist Willie Soon, in the same way that tobacco companies propped up misleading health research from well-compensated friendly scientists. The full extent of this work may never be known, as both industries often ran their grants through nonprofit intermediaries that hid the source of their cash – and in some cases, as with the Heartland Institute, both industries used the same intermediaries.

The most significant legal cases facing fossil fuel companies today focus on ongoing deceptive marketing in the form of “greenwashing”. This is different from green marketing – companies that have genuinely sustainable products are, and should remain, free to market them accurately. But the oil industry is not a sustainable business – on average, less than 1% of its capital expenditures goes into low carbon projects – and free speech laws do not stop corporations making false statements.

The oil and gas industry is now touting the promise of carbon capture and storage projects as a way to avoid reducing emissions. But not a single existing CCS project is viable, and no company is investing at a rate likely to make future ones viable. It’s an old bait-and-switch, as it mirrors how tobacco companies promoted various smokeless alternatives for decades...


A legal tipping point may be soon approaching for fossil fuel companies and the spin masters that work for them. As with our case against tobacco, too many lives will be lost before these cases are resolved. But accountability is coming soon, and the implications will be vast.

Read the Full Article at the Guardian


Earth Flag-2.png Climate News
Time to act to make a difference


2021


Why climate lawsuits are surging

Via BBC


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Climate Change Laws Around the World


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More on Climate e-lawsuits (2021) / Trending litigation


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"Climate Change Laws of the World"


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About ClimateLaws.org

Climate Change Laws of the World and Climate Change Litigation of the World build on more than a decade of data collection by the Grantham Research Institute at LSE and the Sabin Center at Columbia Law School.'

Climate Change Laws of the World covers national-level climate change legislation and policies globally. The database covers climate and climate-related laws, as well as laws and policies promoting low carbon transitions, which reflects the relevance of climate policy in areas including energy, transport, land use, and climate resilience.

Climate Change Laws via Grantham Institute (Current)
2019 'Snapshot': Climate-related lawsuits are rapidly increasing
Trends in Climate Change Legislation (2017)


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Global Trends in Climate Change Litigation


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Climate Watch Pathways

Via World Resources Institute


Data Lab - https://www.wri.org/data/data-lab

Data Platforms - https://www.wri.org/data/data-platforms

Open Data Portal - https://datasets.wri.org/ - https://datasets.wri.org/dataset

Resource Library - https://www.wri.org/resources/type/data-52

Permissions & Licensing - https://www.climatewatchdata.org/about/permissions


Climate Analysis Indicators Tools (CAIT) - WRI Data Update)

Via World Resources Institute / Data

WRI believes that good data is the foundation of good decision-making. We produce data sets, data platforms and data-based tools, which we make freely available through our open data commitment.


Climate Watch


INDCs / NDCs

GreenPolicy360: Next Up, Moving from Intended Climate Actions (INDCs) to Nation-by-Nation, Determined Climate Actions (NDCs)


"The NDC Partnership"

The NDC Partnership is a global initiative to help countries achieve their national climate commitments and ensure financial and technical assistance is delivered as efficiently as possible.


In 2015, the world endorsed the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Nations signal their commitments to the Paris Agreement through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are national plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience against the negative effects of a changing climate. However, current NDCs are not ambitious enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, threatening the climate, economy and lives of people worldwide.

The NDC Partnership advances the goals of the Paris Agreement by bringing together countries and institutions in new ways to accelerate NDC implementation and enhance ambition over time. Through a country-driven approach, we drive climate action and sustainable development while supporting countries in reducing social and economic inequalities.

The NDC Partnership supports ambition and implementation through mobilizing more than 100 implementing partners to support more than 70 developing countries. Our diverse membership requires a wide variety of support, which we provide through various programs and initiatives...


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Country Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data


Infographic: What Do Your Country's Emissions Look Like?


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Countries with Largest CO2 Emissions



United Nations / National sites -- Environmental Data

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/clinks.htm


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GreenPolicy360 Siterunner - SJS / December 2021: Looking back to the 1960s and 70s to the beginnings of the Earth Science from Space missions of NASA and affiliated U.S. agencies in association with higher education and aerospace business, the vision statements of Congressional leaders like Rep. George E. Brown (D-Los Angeles), set in motion the measuring and monitoring programs that led to decades of atmospheric and earth systems data. This constellation of new space technology -- digital imaging, Earth 360° remote viewing, scientific observations, changes over time, atmospheric and earth temperature trend lines, all came into our hands. 'Drilling down', not for gas and oil, but in the parsing of data, now has the promise to provide essential ways and means to deliver real- and extended-time knowledge bases which can be used, effectively and we propose legally, to deliver on pledges and promises made at international climate change conferences and summits.

Let us do our part in continuing to expand this first-generation earth science vision -- space-based cooperative missions, initiatives and ventures -- that makes it possible to turn database tracking of emissions (externalities) -- CO2, methane, CFCs and other gases -- nation-by-nation into Climate Plan Enforcement (CPEs).

It is time to move from distant pledged goals to coordinated nation-by-nation climate action. Using best practices, effective nationally determined, and legally enforced operational plans, we can become agents of change making a positive real-world difference. As it is said -- "Earth Is In Our Hands", let us turn science and knowledge into climate action now.

The strategic demands for international cooperation and action is our generations greatest task and our legacy. Let us take up our climate challenge. Our time is today to enforce well intended, but extremely hard to achieve climate pledges.


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* https://www.greenpolicy360.net/w/File:INDCs_as_of_Nov28,2015.png


Intended Nationally Determined Contributions


INDCs


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INDCs to NDCs: Intended Climate Plans & Pledges Move toward 'Determined' Climate Plans

GreenPolicy360: Our Policy is to ... "Turn Climate Action Promises & Pledges into Reality"


2015/16 - First (INDC) Phase with the Paris Climate Summit, then...
2021 - Second (NDC) Phase with the Glasgow Summit

 

Climate Plans Enforcement - News

 

June 2022

Supreme Court of the US Rules to Limit Authority of the Environmental Protection Agency


SCOTUS EPA decision - June 30 2022.jpg


Click Here for a scan of news/commentary and opinion re the June 30, 2022 decision
File:SCOTUS News re West Virginia v EPA Decision.pdf


April 2022:


Recalling a Foundation of Environmental Law in the US that Purposefully Established Agencies with Broad Regulatory Authority


GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: In the early years of the modern environmental movement, a conscious effort was made to construct a foundation of environmental laws and regulations on which a multi-year environmental protection framework could be built.

Scan the GreenPolicy360 website for more information regarding this seminal era and visionary legislators and the planning, the intent, science/data gathering programs/initiatives/missions and forethought given legal weight.


George E. Brown Jr


Your GreenPolicy360 siterunner / founder, Steven Schmidt, worked with Congressman Brown as a friend-of-court, in other words, for over four decades we found common ground in our political activism. My friend George from East LA. George Brown became chair of the new science, technology and space committee and took his physicist and engineering training into shaping an array of new missions, many of them unprecedented. The EPA was his vision achieved, one on his obits would later explain, as he set in motion a government reorganization and brought 'the package' to President Nixon to sign. Politics at that moment loudly demand the president sign the authorization -- and he did.

I was one of those who believed in this constructive paradigm, using model legislation, both locally developed, often in our state of California, then shared, 'exported' as we used to say, 'to the Feds' for adoption at the national level. The air quality legislation and atmospheric science legislation is an example of George at work. He was the sponsor and main drafter of the first National Climate Program Act. I remember his words well as the idea went from science in the early 70s to a National Academy of Sciences report and then the legislation itself in 1977...


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The history here provides an ongoing modus operandi from the 60s and 70s until now as we deal with the pressing local, national, and international/global environmental threats and crises. We, at GreenPolicy360, call this "green best practices". Best practices is a model for sharing, networking, building on success and action. Templates and models, best practices made openly available, are our plans for having multiplier effects -- and it is our ongoing mission. A strong and resilient legal foundation and framework of environmental laws is an essential part of our overall work. We encourage you to join in as citizens of every nation, within your multiple and diverse legal systems and, we must add, as planet citizens.


December 2021:

 

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GreenPolicy360/Strategic Demands Propose an 'Open-Access' International Consortium

'Earth Observations/Mapping from Space': Measuring & Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions with ESA - NASA - Google Earth-Planet Labs ...

Resources Supporting Climate Plans Enforcement of Nationally Determined Climate Plans & Pledges (NDCs)

Sharing Data and Best Practices to Scale Up Successful Climate Action between Countries


More from GreenPolicy360:


Earth Science Vital Signs


Earth Right Now


Earth and Space, Politics


Earth Science Research from Space


New Definitions of National Security


Micro-satellites


Planet API


Earth Imaging-New Space


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Measuring & Monitoring Earth from Space
Measure to Manage / NASA Earth Science


You can manage only what you can measure Dr David Crisp, OCO-2, June 2014 m.jpg


 

Landsat Memories, Looking Back at the Beginning of the U.S. Earth Sciences Mission

Measuring and Monitoring Earth's Life System and Resources from Space

Envisioning Environmental Protection with 'Eyes in the Sky'


SJS/GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: The U.S. Interior Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA with the Congressional Science and Technology Committee (originally the Science and Astronautics Committee were responsible for building the original Landsat program (which overcame much opposition within the military). ERTS-1, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, as the original Landsat satellite was officially first called, was 'greenlighted' to go as a real time earth observation mission in 1970. The vast digital database it gathered has proven over the years the wisdom of the visionaries who first proposed, drafted legislation creating, funding, then engineering, testing, launching and ably defending the Landsat mission from critics over the decades. Now the results are being re-considered for the unique value they provide in guiding policy discussion, debate and decisions. The Landsat library of digital imagery, millions of images, multi-spectrum observations of change on earth over the first fifty years of the mission's existence, are seen in a new light.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, Congressman George Brown on the Science and Technology Committee was pressing forward with NASA's development of the first array of earth science satellite missions. Near the top of his list of project missions was LANDSAT 1.

Representative Brown was out in front of "Big Science". In his decades on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, he worked to expand the reach of science. He knew that good data enabled good policy decisions. He pressed for first-generation earth science satellites and ongoing earth monitoring missions and data sharing.


GreenPolicy360: Today in 2022 we have the science and data, the earth atmospheric imaging databases and satellite missions up and they are measuring, monitoring and tracking the realities of greenhouse gas emissions, the trendlines, the 'hot spot super-emitting sites'. Now is the time, our generation's responsibility and challenge to go to work and act to protect the planet's life systems and environment for today and for the future ...


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Over 100 Nations at COP26 Pledge to Cut Global Methane Emissions by 30 Percent in Less Than a Decade

Global Methane Pledge came as the Biden EPA proposed stringent new methane controls for the oil and gas industry


Via The Washington Post

Steve Hamburg, chief scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, tells the Washington Post that reducing methane emissions — not just carbon dioxide emissions — is crucial for staving off the worst effects of climate change. “There are two big levers out there, and we need to push down on both of them, which we have not historically done.”

Though it is less abundant and does not linger in the atmosphere as long, methane packs 80 times the global warming punch of carbon dioxide over a 20-year time span. Curbing methane emissions from livestock and natural gas infrastructure is seen as a relatively swift and simple way to make a dent in global warming.

Among the countries that did not sign up were two of the biggest — China and Russia. Hamburg said it was not surprising that Russia, a major methane emitter, had not come on board the pledge. “You’re not going to have everybody join,” he said, adding, “The fact that there’s now a large proportion of the global community signing on, that’s the real key.”


Via Inside Climate News


In a rare moment of good news coming from this week’s Conference of the Parties climate summit in Glasgow, more than 100 nations have pledged to cut global methane emissions by 30 percent or more between now and 2030 in an effort to quickly and significantly curb global warming.

The announcement marking the official launch of the U.S.-European Union led Global Methane Pledge came as the Biden administration took a key step on Tuesday toward meeting the reduction goal with a draft of stringent new methane regulations for the oil and gas industry released by the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington.

“This is huge,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said of the global initiative. “If we fulfill this pledge over the next 10 years the impact is [the same as] switching … all the cars of the world, all the trucks of the world, all the planes of the world [and] all the ships of the world to zero emission technologies; [the] entire transportation sector.”

Methane is the second leading driver of climate change, having contributed 0.5 degrees of the 1.1 degrees of human-induced warming since pre-industrial times, according to the latest (6th) assessment by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

On a pound for pound basis, methane is an 81 times more potent greenhouse gas over the near term than carbon dioxide, the leading cause of global warming. Reducing methane emissions is widely seen as the best chance to quickly curb global warming due to the relatively short time the gas remains in the atmosphere.


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GHG/Methane Mapping

Aim at the Hot Spots

Target, Measure and Monitor Greenhouse Gases/Methane Emission from Space
Satellite Missions including:


Global/Region Mapping

TROPOMI ESA (http://www.tropomi.eu/)

SCIAMACHY (https://earth.esa.int/eogateway/instruments/sciamachy)

GOSAT (https://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/en/)


Area Mapping

MethaneSAT (https://www.methanesat.org/)

GEI-SAT (https://youtu.be/xaHwL40fIVg


Location Mapping

GHGSat (https://www.ghgsat.com/en/)

Carbon Mapper (https://carbonmapper.org/

PRISMA (https://www.asi.it/en/earth-science/prisma/)



The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is on the Methane Satellite Beat

EDF Working to Target, Measure and Monitor Greenhouse Gases/Methane Emissions from Space




“Advances in satellite technology and data analytics are making it possible to generate regular and robust information on methane emissions from oil and gas operations even from the most remote corners of the world,” said Mark Brownstein, EDF senior vice president for Energy. “It’s our goal to use this new data to help companies and countries find, measure, and reduce methane emissions further and faster, and enable the public to both track and compare progress.”


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Global Forest Watch


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SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner:

Going green begins with a decision, a decision to go, to become actionable, moving and multiplying, choosing to create waves, creating rippling forces of change...
Being green is to be a planet citizen


Rebecca had an idea how to save trees around her home and her idea led to the launching of 'Google Earth Outreach'

Expanding and extending Google Maps to green-centered applications, oceans and sustainability, new ways to monitor and manage the Commons...


Here's to Rebecca, long-time friend and a green Bioneer


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SJS / GreenPolicy360 Siterunner: Join in with GreenPolicy360, Google Earth Engine and Outreach, World Resources Institute, Carbon Brief, NASA and ESA, check out the Data, the APIs, the ways to apply facts and science to your countries and your communities. Become a change maker bringing policies and laws, rules and regs, new ideas and new ways to make a positive difference in dealing with the great challenges of our times.



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Visit Climate Plans Enforcement @ GreenPolicy360


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December 2021

Glasgow Climate Summit - Pledges, Promises, Declarations - What's Next Up


Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26) - Pledges, Promises, Declarations

Multiple Shades of Climate Action Promised and Agreements-Yet-To-Become-Reality


GreenPolicy360: Are the results of the Glasgow Summit legally binding? What can be expected as a reality check as the thousands who attended the Glasgow Climate Summit return home to some 200 nations around the world?

It's time for a reality check. Given the gravity of the threat of #ClimateChange, of global disruption of Earth's life supporting systems, of deepening threats to the biosphere and life on Earth as we know it, shouldn't our governments turn to the clear and present danger of the #ClimateCrisis?

As the following "Reflections on Glasgow a Few Weeks Later" by Ted Parson, Esq. explains with citations and copious detail, "how big a contribution they (nations attending the Glasgow conference) will make needs to be taken with a 'grain of salt. They will probably fall short of initial optimistic estimates, sometimes by a lot."


The fact is the Glasgow Climate Summit and its pledges, promises and declarations "mostly lack provisions for enforcement, monitoring, or even standardized reporting."

GreenPolicy360 continues to express our belief in enforcement of promises being made. The young voices of the world demand a living future and, as the Glasgow Conferences of the Parties (COP26) comes to an end, we demand that the promises being made become reality.

We ask: How can nations access and share successful models, best practices, regulations and laws in order to achieve real, verifiable climate progress?

We must look now to deliver cooperative open access to measure and monitor each nation's pledged and promised climate programs and progress.

GreenPolicy360 has its eyes on a new international initiative for best practice networking and sharing.

We continue to develop green best practices, best climate practices, models and templates for positive change.

Together we can be #PlanetCitizens, #Earth360 activists, a committed generation working to confront the #ClimateCrisis as best we can.


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