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Aligning Policies for a Low-carbon Economy

image of Aligning Policies for a Low-carbon Economy

This report produced in co-operation with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) identifies the misalignments between climate change objectives and policy and regulatory frameworks across a range of policy domains (investment, taxation, innovation and skills, trade, and adaptation) and activities at the heart of climate policy (electricity, urban mobility and rural land use).

Outside of countries’ core climate policies, many of the regulatory features of today’s economies have been built around the availability of fossil fuels and without any regard for the greenhouse gas emissions stemming from human activities. This report makes a diagnosis of these contradictions and points to means of solving them to support a more effective transition of all countries to a low-carbon economy.

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Core climate policies and the case for policy alignment

This chapter presents the scientific basis for climate action and the transformative nature of climate policy objectives. Action to mitigate climate change must rest on three pillars: an explicit or implicit price on CO2 emissions, regulations to remove barriers to energy efficiency, and targeted support to bring low-carbon technologies to market. The chapter highlights the need for stakeholder (consumers, industry) buy-in of these core climate policies, careful consideration by governments, and alignment of broader policy frameworks, traditionally hard-wired to fossil fuels, towards a low-carbon economy. Identifying and reforming misaligned policies can also help the transition while also supporting other policy objectives.

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