International alliance for climate change mitigation

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference has ended with a set of compromises, but also clear pathways for mitigating climate change. Germany solicited interest in forming an international climate alliance.

Motiv einer Weltkarte von oben, umgeben von Wäldern© Adobe Stock / malp

The focus of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which ran in Glasgow until 12 November 2021, was global climate policy. The key question was how member countries can improve their climate targets in order to reduce emissions and limit global warming. Over the 14 days of the conference, around 200 countries deliberated on how to further accelerate the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. An important topic for the 40,000 delegates attending was also how climate change mitigation can be financed in developing and industrialised countries.

Key outcomes of the conference at a glance:

The legal framework for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement was at last able to be finalised. For the first time, the final declaration of a UN climate conference also enshrined an agreement to “move away” from coal and to remove inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Although the agreed wordings represent compromises, they now mark a clear signal.

“The core objective of the Paris Agreement, the 1.5 degree target, was also kept within reach.” It is also important to note that climate pledges are to become more ambitious in the coming years. Such commitments are needed from the G20 countries in particular.

In addition to climate finance and the issue of paying for the losses and damage caused by climate change, two other tasks now receiving greater global attention in the wake of the conference are implementing specific measures and creating a political and legal framework.

Germany uses Glasgow to canvass support for international climate alliance

Climate change knows no national borders. It cannot be stopped within an individual country or within Europe alone. In order to boost climate change mitigation worldwide, Germany has proposed setting up an international climate alliance (also known as a “climate club”) and solicited support for this in Glasgow, where it also held a separate event for this.

The aim of the proposed alliance is to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement while protecting the economies of countries that commit their companies to climate protection measures and thus contribute significantly to more climate protection.

The climate club initiative is based on three overarching elements

The alliance is intended to be a partnership of the countries in the world with the most ambitious climate policies. The hope is to canvass those that are major emittersof greenhouse gases (such as China and the US), important trading partners of the EU, countries with emissions pricing for the release of greenhouse gases or that have a large industrial sector. Participation is, in principle, open to all countries that commit to appropriate targets and measures according to their capabilities. Members of the alliance must commit to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement. For most countries, this means reaching climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. For some emerging and developing countries, this might be a little later. All member countries are required to set ambitious interim targets and lay out a pathway for reducing emissions en route to their particular target.

The aim of the initiative is for as many countries as possible to set coordinated and ambitious climate policy measures to give life to the shared climate goals. As part of these efforts, they are also working on a roadmap towards carbon capture and (minimum) carbon pricing, and are coordinating their carbon leakage prevention measures.

The climate club initiative is built upon cooperation between the different national economies that belong to it. It is therefore open to all countries that commit to meeting the climate ambitions agreed between the climate club members and introduce appropriate measures. It is primarily rooted in the commitments of the Paris Agreement on climate targets and climate finance as well as technology cooperation and market mechanisms.

The initiative could therefore enable climate change mitigation to become a real locational advantage internationally, pushing in the same direction as the UN climate conferences.