EM – November 2023: This month, EM explores recent trends in climate policy with a particular focus related to the energy and transportation sectors.by Chris Whitehead and Bryan Comer
July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded according to NASA. With varying degrees of confidence, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that human-caused global warming has already led to ocean warming, Arctic sea ice loss, sea level rise, more frequent and intense heatwaves and heavy precipitation events, droughts in some regions, and other changes to the biosphere. Policymakers agreed to the goal of limiting warming to well below 2 °C, while pursing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C in an attempt to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Limiting warming means reducing climate-warming pollution, especially greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases (F-gases).
Implemented national policies allow GHG emissions to continue to grow, and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that were announced prior to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) are not enough to limit warming to 1.5 °C and would require rapid emissions reductions after 2030 to limit warming to below 2 °C. Climate targets for international aviation and maritime shipping have been established outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process by their respective agencies: the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which aims for net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which aims for net-zero GHG emissions by (or around) 2050. Neither the ICAO nor the IMO goals, which are aspirational, are consistent with 1.5 °C, but they could be consistent with well-below 2 °C, depending on the policies that developed to implement their respective climate strategies.
This issue of EM explores recent trends in climate policy with a particular focus related to the energy and transportation sectors.
Continue reading the full November 2023 issue of EM.