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Winners and Losers in a Warming World


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Why do some climate policies work in one country but fail in another? WRI’s experts explain the political economy of climate action: factors that shape behavior, power dynamics in decision-making and more.

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Winners and Losers in a Warming World

  1. 1. Photo Source: Justice & Witness Ministries, UCC/Flickr WINNERS AND LOSERS IN A WARMING WORLD The Political Economy of Climate Action
  2. 2. MARK ROBINSON ELIZA NORTHROP Global Director, Governance, World Resources Institute Associate II, International Climate Initiative, World Resources Institute
  3. 3. JESSE WORKER JUAN-CARLOS ALTAMIRANOAssociate II, Environmental Democracy Practice, World Resources Institute Economist, World Resources Institute
  4. 4. ACHIEVING THE PARIS AGREEMENT Photo Source: Unclimatechange Flickr The Paris Agreement aims to: • Limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees and pursue efforts to limit to increase to 1.5 degrees • Increase ability to adapt to climate change impacts • Make finance flows consistent with these pathways
  5. 5. Trust, cooperation and information sharing within and outside of government Credible domestic progress to guide implementation and increase ambition over time Supportive political environment and strong institutional capacity
  6. 6. DEFINITION OF CLIMATE GOVERNANCE • The rules, norms and relationships that determine how decisions are made and whose interests are represented • How power and authority are distributed, controlled and exercised • How resources are accessed, allocated, used and exchanged • How conflicts are mitigated or resolved …to enable and sustain the level of action required to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.
  7. 7. A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINED ACTION Photo Source: U.S. Department of Energy Flickr As of 2017, 1,200 climate laws have been passed, establishing new targets and institutional mandates. But ambition levels, resources allocated towards implementation and effectiveness of accountability mechanisms will depend on underlying political economy dynamics.
  8. 8. CLIMATE ACTION IS POLITICAL Photo Source: Beyond Coal & Gas Image Library/ Flickr • Motivated interest groups and fragmented coalitions • Mismatched incentives • Dominant narratives on climate risk and response • Importance of institutional histories and relationships
  9. 9. WHEN DO POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES EMERGE? Photo Source: SC National Guard/Flickr • Disruptive events, like extreme weather or energy shortages • Elections • International or regional pressures • New coalitions • Access to new financial streams • Reduced cost of clean technologies
  10. 10. NOT JUST MITIGATION – ADAPTATION, TOO Photo Source: NPS Climate Change Response/Flickr Building resilience calls for addressing disparities in access to resources, opportunities and decision- making power. There is also a heightened emphasis on local politics and institutions.
  11. 11. CLIMATE RESILIENCE IN BANGLADESH Photo Source: Development Planning Unit University College London/Flickr Political relationships, institutional priorities and economic incentives gave coastal infrastructure projects the upper hand over community-based adaptation strategies.
  12. 12. POLITICAL CLIMATE ACTION SUPPORT IN KENYA Photo Source: Wajahat Mahmood/Flickr Makueni and Wajir counties have enacted laws to establish climate change funds. • Wajir is investing 2% of its budget and has direct access to international finance. • Direct response to drought and severe weather events • Funds allocated to community-driven resilience initiatives
  13. 13. A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH Approach Outcome Understanding how institutional relationships contribute to climate policy failures New mandates, incentives and policies that help support implementation of ambitious climate action Analyzing the benefits and political visibility of climate policies Policies that shore up broad-based public support for climate action by conveying visible benefits Strengthening the political influence of sub-national and non-state actors Investments in building more diverse and capable climate action coalitions Assessing political insulation of oversight mechanisms and incentives to hold policymakers to account Stronger independent oversight mechanisms to support long-term climate goals
  14. 14. NEXT STEP: CLIMATE GOVERNANCE DIAGNOSTIC Photo Source: World Bank/Flickr Purpose | Pinpoint potential governance barriers and identify relevant entry points to drive solutions for transformative climate action Process | Collaborate with national experts across sectors to inform and legitimize results Outcome | Evidence-based strategy to improve climate governance, including incentive structures, capacity building and influence pathways
  15. 15. Photo Source: Presidencia de la Republica MARCH 2018 ACHIEVING MEXICO'S CLIMATE GOALS An Eight Point Action Plan
  16. 16. APPROACH AND ANALYSIS Photo Source: BurnOsoleil/Flickr • How can Mexico achieve its targets and work toward the Paris Agreement goals? • Identify and evaluate key energy and climate policy actions  Initial involvement with Mexican government  56 planned and potential actions  After stakeholder consultation, 19/21 policies were modeled
  17. 17. MEXICO’S EIGHT POINT ACTION PLAN I Improve fuel efficiency and promote the switch to clean fuels in industrial activities Strengthen actions to reduce emissions of non-CO2 gases Reduce distortions in the economy through introducing carbon pricing and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies Increase capacity and efficiency in the electricity sector (transmission and distribution) Promote synergies with adaptation objectives (deforestation and reforestation) and other sectoral actions (agriculture) Prompt the transition to clean and well-designed transport options Increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings Develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for achieving net zero GHG emissions in line with the long-term goals in the Paris Agreement II III IV V VI VII VIII
  18. 18. CONCLUSIONS Photo Source: Ted McGrath/Flickr • Potential actions for attaining Mexico’s NDC must be politically feasible. • Actions should improve competitiveness and population’s health and welfare. • Success will need coordinated institutional efforts as well as collaboration across private and social sectors.
  19. 19. Photo Source: Justice & Witness Ministries, UCC/Flickr WINNERS AND LOSERS IN A WARMING WORLD The Political Economy of Climate Action