Conference of the Parties (Paris Climate Summit - COP21) for the UNFCCC, 195 countries convened and signed the first universal and legally binding global climate agreement to date. This agreement shall take effect 30 days after at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions ratify the agreement.
During the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (Paris Climate Summit - COP21) for the UNFCCC, 195 countries convened and signed the first universal and legally binding global climate agreement to date. This agreement shall take effect 30 days after at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions ratify the agreement. These requirements were satisfied when the EU Member States ratified the agreement on 4 October 2016. The agreement will officially enter into force on 4 November 2016.
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), through which countries announced their national goals and commitments on climate, constitute the basis for this agreement. INDCs consider the individual status and capacity of each country in establishing their determination to reduce their emissions. Some countries also stated in their own INDCs how they will adapt to the impacts of climate change, what type of support they need from other countries in fighting climate change or what type of support they will extend to other countries to that end.
Two developing countries with a significant impact on global climate change are China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Mexico, the world’s tenth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The rest of the article includes basic information on the INDCs of the two countries.
Points standing out in China’s INDC are as follows:
- China is a developing country with a population of more than 1.3 billion.
- China is currently in the process of rapid industrialization and urbanization, confronting with multiple challenges including economic development, poverty eradication, improvement of living standards, environmental protection and combating climate change.
- Enhanced actions on climate change
- Based on its national circumstances, development stage, sustainable development
strategy and international responsibility, China has nationally determined its actions by 2030 as follows:
- To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early,
- To lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% from the 2005 level,
- To increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%, and
- To increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters compared to 2005 level.
- Policies and measures to implement enhanced actions on climate change
- To achieve the nationally determined action objectives on climate change by 2030, China needs to make a sustained effort in further implementing enhanced policies and measures in areas such as regime building, production mode and consumption pattern, economic policy, science and technology innovation and international cooperation.
- The sub-measures China plans to implement are as follows:
- Implementing proactive national strategies on climate change,
- Improving regional strategies on climate change,
- Building a low-carbon energy system,
- Building an energy efficient and low-carbon industrial system,
- Controlling emissions from building and transportation sectors,
- Increasing carbon sinks,
- Promoting the low-carbon way of life,
- Enhancing overall climate resilience,
- Innovating a low-carbon development growth pattern,
- Enhancing support in terms of science and technology,
- Increasing financial and policy support,
- Promoting a carbon emission trading market,
- Improving statistical and accounting systems for greenhouse gas emissions,
- Broad participation of stakeholders,
- Promoting international cooperation on climate change.
China is accelerating the implementation of the National Strategy for Climate Adaptation, improving its capacity to respond to extreme climatic events and making positive progress in key areas of climate change adaptation. Furthermore, it aims to implement regionalized climate change policies to help identify differentiated targets, tasks and approaches of climate change mitigation and adaptation for different development-planning zones. As an expectation from the Paris Agreement, China stated in its INDC that the linkage between adaptation and finance, technology and capacity building shall be strengthened.
Points standing out in Mexico’s INDC are as follows:
- In 2012, the Mexican Congress unanimously approved the General Law on Climate Change
(LGCC) and became the first developing country to have a comprehensive law on this subject.
- Mexico’s INDC encompasses the reduction of all greenhouse gases as well as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
- Mexico’s INDC concerns mitigation and adaptation. The mitigation component includes two types of measures, namely conditional and unconditional measures. The unconditional set of measures includes those measures that Mexico will implement with its own resources. The conditional actions are those that Mexico could develop if a new multilateral climate regime is adopted and if additional resources and transfer of technology are available through international cooperation.
- Mexico’s INDC is consistent with its pathway to reduce emissions by 50% by the year 2050, with respect to the year 2000, as mandated by the LGCC.
- Starting from 2013, Mexico is committed to reduce unconditionally 25% of its greenhouse gases and SLCP emissions below business as usual (BAU) scenario by the year 2030. This commitment implies a 22% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 51% reduction in black carbon. This commitment further implies a net emissions peak starting from 2026, decoupling GHG emissions from economic growth: emissions intensity per unit of GDP will reduce by around 40% from 2013 to 2030.
- The 25% reduction commitment could increase up to 40% in a conditional manner, subject to a global agreement addressing important topics including international carbon price, carbon border adjustments, technical cooperation, access to low-cost financial resources and technology transfer. Under the same conditions, greenhouse gas reductions could increase up to 36%, and Black Carbon reductions to 70% by 2030.
- The priority actions under adaptation are as follows:
- The protection of communities from adverse impacts of climate change, such as extreme hydro-meteorological events related to global changes in temperature,
- The increment in the resilience of strategic infrastructure and of the ecosystems that host national biodiversity.
- In order to reach those priorities, Mexico will strengthen the adaptive capacity of at least 50% of the municipalities in the category of “most vulnerable”, establish early warning systems and risk management at every level of government and reach a rate of 0% deforestation by the year 2030.
Mexico considers adaptation to climate change as a priority to reduce the country’s
vulnerability (such as its geographical location between two oceans, tropical cyclones, floods and droughts). Activities projected in the INDC for implementation between 2020 and 2030 under this heading are grouped as follows:
- Adaptation to climate change for the social sector
- Ecosystem-based adaptation
- Adaptation of strategic infrastructure and production systems
Mexico also considers capacity building, technology transfer and finance to be important for adaptation efforts.