A new study published this week by the London School of Economics & Political Science has revealed that all 197 countries, nations, and territories that have signed and ratified the Paris Climate Agreement now all have at least one national law or policy focused on climate change.
The new report, entitled Global trends in climate change legislation and litigation: 2018 snapshot, was authored by researchers from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. There are a total of over 1,500 climate laws and policies in place worldwide, including 106 which have been introduced since the Paris Agreement was signed, and of which 28 specifically reference the Paris Agreement. 139 countries have framework laws that address climate mitigation or adaption holistically that form a substantial basis from which further action will build.
Climate laws and policies around the world in 2018
The authors of the report also believe that “A new wave of strategic court cases linking climate and rights is emerging” that make up a small number of the 1,000 climate court cases currently identified around the world, but which could have a “significant impact in holding governments and greenhouse gas emitters accountable for climate change.”
Unsurprisingly, the focus of new laws passed over the past two decades have increasingly focused on climate-related issues such as greenhouse gas reduction targets, climate change mitigation or adaption, and the environment at large. What’s interesting, however, is that the focus on these new laws was back around 2010 and has tapered off somewhat in recent years.
Focus of new laws passed each year, to end of 2017
As of the writing of the report, there is at least some integration of climate concerns into energy policy in 86% of countries, the highest priority globally, despite the fact there has been a recent decline in the introduction of new laws. In total, the laws and policies that have been introduced that focus particularly on electrification, energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy, account for 39% of all new laws and policies covered in the report.
The report and a separate publication containing additional figures is available from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment here.
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