The historic climate agreement reached by more than 190 nations in December 2015 will require more than just the individual efforts of participating countries to meet their commitments to mitigate climate change. Too often overlooked is the crucial role the private sector, cities, states, regions, and societal groups are playing, and the major investments they are making to help ensure success of the Paris Agreement, as discussed in a Commentary published in Sustainability: The Journal of Record.
Tom Kerr, Principal Climate Policy Officer, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, describes the types of monetary commitments—totaling about $11 trillion—that businesses, investors, cities and regions have made to help governments implement the Paris Agreement. These include switching to 100% renewable energy, "decarbonizing" investment portfolios, using internal carbon pricing, and supporting government pricing policies.
With the support of some countries, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and others, "non-state actors" have been able to take an active role in developing and implementing international climate initiatives. Tim Kerr calls attention to some of these and emphasizes the importance of them being well designed and that they have accountability. The current lack of standardized monitoring, reporting, and verification procedures for commitments by non-state actors hampers adequate assessment and review.
"Tom Kerr's view from the World Bank Group is crucial to heed as we look ahead from the discussions of the Paris Agreement to the actions needed to curb climate change," says Jamie Devereaux, Editor of Sustainability. "The Journal is proud to support his message of collaborative action and accountability."
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Tom Kerr. From Paris to Implementation: The Role of International Climate Initiatives, Sustainability: The Journal of Record (2016). DOI: 10.1089/SUS.2016.29035