The report details steps to 2030 to catalyze action at the speed and scale required to combat climate change, including solutions to halve emissions in a range of sectors, and specific strategies to accelerate their scaling up.
Existing technologies and companies behind them could help determine whether we live on a 1.5-2°C planet or in a +3°C world.
While technology alone cannot solve the climate challenge, the authors conclude that “a critical mass” of businesses, cities, nations, industries and citizens contributing to the Paris Agreement on climate change will create “the snowball effect” leading to the scaling up of solutions.
13 September 2018: Stronger policies, the digital revolution and greater climate leadership are critical to accelerate the economic transformation, according to a report by a group of stakeholders that outlines a roadmap for climate action by showing the potential for all sectors of the global economy to halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, with existing technologies and behavioral changes.
The report titled, ‘Exponential Climate Action Roadmap,’ was launched by former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, convener of Mission 2020, and Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre, during the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, US, on 13 September 2018. The publication details steps to 2030 to catalyze action at the speed and scale required to combat climate change, including solutions to halve emissions in a range of sectors, and specific strategies to accelerate their scaling up.
The report’s authors argue that: the next decade could see the fastest energy transition in history; people underestimate the power of exponential growth; and the digital revolution could significantly disrupt the global economy over the next decade. Existing technologies and companies behind them, they note, could help determine whether we live on a 1.5-2°C planet or in a +3°C world. The report explains that the global capacity of solar and wind power is doubling at a pace fast enough to provide over 50% of global electricity supply by about 2030, while acknowledging that beyond electricity generation, the pace in other parts of the economy is slow.
While technology alone cannot solve the climate challenge, the authors conclude that “a critical mass” of businesses, cities, nations, industries and citizens contributing to the Paris Agreement on climate change will create “the snowball effect” leading to the scaling up of solutions. To halve emissions by 2030, the roadmap describes a range of solutions in such sectors as energy, industry, buildings, transport, food, and agriculture and forestry.
To scale up climate solutions, the report proposes establishing global sustainability programmes on the syllabus of every university course in every country by 2020.
For example, on energy, the report mentions, inter alia, accelerated wind and solar installation, and shared and “on-demand” fleets of more energy-efficient electric vehicles. Regarding transformative climate investments, the report points to green bonds, among other things, which are on course to reach US$1 trillion by 2021.
On industry and production, the study notes that adopting circular economy approaches could reduce emissions from industry by 45% by 2050. On transport, the report underscores that a complete shift to electric vehicles is possible between 2020 and 2030 with strong national and city policies, such as banning internal combustion engines.
On food consumption, the report finds that reducing food waste and adopting plant-based diets will reduce emissions. It cites the example of China announcing the goal of halving meat consumption by 2030. Regarding agriculture and forestry, the publication, inter alia, outlines forest management solutions such as planting tens of billions of trees to help reduce emissions in the forestry sector.
The roadmap identifies eight strategies required to scale up these solutions over the next 18 months, related to greater climate leadership, stronger policies and exponential technologies that are designed to reach a global scale within a decade. The first strategy relates to policy actions relating to establishing fast-track task forces to: build momentum to remove fossil fuel subsidies; incentivize carbon pricing instruments and emissions standards in the largest economies; catalyze behavioral changes related to production and consumption; and incentivize large-scale reforestation, forest management and agricultural changes to ensure resilience of biomes.
On climate leadership, the proposed four strategies address:
- incentivizing the rapid adoption of combined digital, circular and sharing economies in the largest economies;
- increasing ambition by attracting more cities and businesses to climate action movements and setting stronger emissions targets;
- establishing executive leadership programmes on global sustainability in big companies by 2020; and
- establishing global sustainability programmes on the syllabus of every university course in every country by 2020.
The three recommended technology leadership strategies are:
- launching an accelerator to align the digital revolution with the goal of halving emissions rapidly;
- establishing a global accelerator network connecting entrepreneurs with the goal of halving emissions every decade or faster; and
- establishing a global marketplace to invest in, support and scale up the most promising exponential technologies and business models.
The roadmap is supported by a digital dashboard, developed by the Government of Sweden to help track its own progress towards a fossil-free economy by 2045, and is intended for future use by companies, cities and countries to align their efforts with the Paris Agreement’s goals. The report was produced by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Future Earth, WWF, Ericsson and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, among others. [Publication: Exponential Climate Action Roadmap] [GCAS Press Release] [Report Landing Page]