The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment is collecting and analysing data on climate change governance and institutions to improve the evidence base and generate lessons learnt on climate legislation, institutions and governance, and on the credibility of climate change commitments. Some preliminary insights are provided in this document. Additional evidence in these areas will be provided for the second submission to the Talanoa Dialogue later in 2018.

Key points include:

  • The bottom-up nature of the Paris Agreement and the need for ratcheting ambition requires strong national policy frameworks that are aligned with the goals of the Agreement and with the NDCs. Our work shows there is significant scope for improvement across the G20.
  • Meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement also requires that the NDCs are ‘credible’ – ensuring that policymakers will keep promises to implement their pledges. There are significant differences in the level of credibility displayed across countries.
  • To strengthen credibility of the NDCs most countries will need to improve their decision-making processes.
  • There are 1,500 climate change and related laws and policies globally but the link between national climate legislation and the Paris Agreement process is still insufficient.
  • An important lever for credible implementation can be provided by framework climate change legislation, an example of which is the UK Climate Change Act (2008). Our recent analysis suggests that the Act has been instrumental in advancing British climate policy over the 10 years it has been in force.
  • In recent years courts have emerged as important actors on climate change governance. Over 1,000 climate-related litigation cases have been identified globally. Courts are being called to rule on the consistency of countries’ actions with the Paris Agreement and also to hold major corporate emitters to reduce their emissions and to account for adaptation costs and climate-related damages.

See also: Supporting adaptation to climate change among businesses and households in semi-arid lands: an agenda for the Talanoa Dialogue

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