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Countries building TLC - transparency, longevity and certainty - into strong climate change policy frameworks are gaining a competitive advantage over countries that aren't, according to a new study from DB Climate Change Advisors. China and Germany have emerged as global leaders, while the US continues to lag, and may even lose ground, at least at the federal level.

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Countries with ‘TLC’ Climate Policies Gain Competitive Edge in Economic, Jobs Growth

Countries building TLC – transparency, longevity and certainty – into strong climate change policy frameworks are gaining a competitive advantage over countries that aren’t, according to a new study from DB Climate Change Advisors. China and Germany have emerged as global leaders, while the US continues to lag, and may even lose ground, at least at the federal level.

Countries with leaders that have been busy enacting strong domestic climate change policy frameworks with built-in TLC – transparency, longevity and certainty – “will attract more investment and will build new, clean industries, technologies and jobs faster than their policy lagging counterparts,” according to a just released study by Deutsche Bank’s DB Climate Change Advisors.

The countries who rank at the top of DBCCA’s list of countries that have enacted strong climate policy frameworks during 2010 and to date in 2011 are pretty much the same ones who ranked at the top in previous years’ studies.

Germany and China continue to develop strong policies that serve to drive down carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, with the UK increasingly doing so. Russia, the US, Spain and Canada, in contrast, either failed to initiate, or in some cases, reversed or threatened to reverse “crucial climate policy initiatives,” according to DBCCA’s July 2011, “Global Climate Change Policy Tracker: Winners and Losers.”

DBCCA believes that the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and the oil price shock that came about as a result of the “Arab Spring” movements in the Middle East have caused a sea change that is “likely to mark 2011 as a key inflection point in the global energy mix and as catalysts for a transition toward cleaner, sustainable and more secure energy supplies.”

Comprehensive in nature and by design, DBCCA has come up with a interlocking and self-supporting framework for evaluating the climate change policies of countries and states, the details of which are explained in the July report. This framework tracks the policy momentum of mandates, emissions and supporting policies in the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) countries and key US states that account for approximately 80% of global GHG emissions.

DBCCA monitored 390 climate change policies that are “binding or accountable,” 104 of which are new to the database from March, 2010, when its previous report was published, up to April, 2011.

Evaluating the results, DBCCA found that “policy momentum is still positive, but shows signs of slowing down in recent months as many economies have by now developed and implemented their domestic policies.” Research analysts also noted some “negative revisions and fine-tuning of policies, particularly in FiT (feed-in tariff) markets, largely driven by budget concerns over the recent financial crisis, as well as cost reductions in renewable energy technologies as they achieve greater scale (particularly solar).”

Building TLC into climate change policy frameworks is essential to their success, according to DBCCA, and explains the failure of some countries to realize resulting benefits. Navigating what amounts to uncharted economic development waters, also crucial to success is to “identify the winning policy structures which reduce uncertainty,” DBCCA finds.

Germany and China have emerged as global leaders when it comes to investing in low carbon technologies and creating strong domestic policy frameworks that support this. “In stark contrast, a politically divided US Congress and vast budget deficit has resulted in very little significant regulation at the Federal level, with substantial implications for emerging clean technology industries in the US.’

More on DBCCA’s July 2011 report to come…

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I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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