Initiatives on improving sustainable mobility and facilitating access to the Clean Development Mechanism are underway.
The experts for the IPCC's upcoming Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels were selected, while other scientific work shows unexpected levels of emissions from forest degradation.
February 2017: Over the past few weeks, several announcements have sought to catalyze mitigation action, including in the transport and tourism sectors. In addition, authors of the special report on warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels were appointed, and a study highlighted emissions from forest degradation.
Two initiatives have sought to improve the mitigation potential in transportation sectors. In the context of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) and SDG 13 (combat climate change and its impacts), the World Bank is advancing an initiative called Sustainable Mobility for All (Sum4All). Originally put forward by the President of the World Bank at the UN Climate Action Summit in May 2016, the initiative includes four elements: a commonly-agreed vision for sustainable mobility, including a few, clearly defined global objectives; a global tracking framework to measure progress; and a global programme of actions. The fourth element, a global governance structure, is intended to support the implementation of the other elements. [World Bank Brief: Sustainable Mobility for All]
The CDM Executive Board adopted revisions to its current regulations to streamline and simplify the regulations for single project activities and the programme of activities.
In other transport-related developments, the World Bank is providing support to an initiative of Indian Railways to build two new freight corridors to help move twice as many goods with fewer emissions and lower costs. The World Bank is supporting the plan with financing for roughly 1,200 km of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Kolkata. [World Bank Press Release: Green Signal for Faster Development: India’s New Freight Corridor]
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board adopted revisions to its current regulations to streamline and simplify the regulations for single project activities and the programme of activities. Among these changes, the Board also adopted decisions to further promote the use of the CDM for voluntary purposes through the cancellation of Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs). Under the decisions, the online voluntary cancellation platform will be revised to enhance usability and it will be made available in French and Spanish to increase its reach to new audiences. Voluntary cancellation is an opportunity for businesses and other organizations to buy CERs directly from the owners of projects that reduced emissions and, in turn, generated the CERs. In the effort to increase the size of this voluntary market, the Board also decided to engage with the tourism industry, one potential user of the voluntary cancellation platform to buy CERs when booking hotels or flights. The Executive Board approved a revised accreditation procedure, including more flexibility for payment of accreditation fees, and elected Frank Wolke (Germany) as Chair and Arthur Rolle (the Bahamas) Vice-Chair. [UNFCCC Press Release on Tourism Sector] [UNFCCC Press Release on Elections of CDM Chair and Vice-Chair]
These and other future plans and actions will benefit from the information in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. The IPCC selected the team of experts who will prepare the Special Report, which will be finalized in September 2018 in time for the facilitative dialogue under the Paris Agreement. From 560 nominations, the IPCC selected 86 experts from 39 countries, of which 38% are women, 51% come from developing countries and economies in transition, and 26% are new to the IPCC process. [IPCC Press Release] [List of Authors for the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC]
The importance of sound science is underlined by an article by Winrock International that finds that the GHG emissions associated with forest degradation is five times higher than emissions from the aviation sector. Published in Carbon Balance Management, the article analyzes emissions from 74 tropical countries resulting from forest degradation, which it defines as logging, harvesting woodfuels and other human impacts on forests that fall short of deforestation. Deforestation tends to receive more attention, and this report is the first consistent and comprehensive analysis of forest degradation, revealing what the article terms an unexpected level of GHG emissions. [Carbon Balance Management Article: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Tropical Forest Degradation: An Underestimated Source]