Interim Report of The Climate Governance Commission 2021
Humanity is facing one of its gravest crises ever, but has so far failed to rise to the challenge.
A key aim of this report is to highlight how enhancement or reform of the basic global governance architecture could contribute to better leadership and more effective and purposeful climate action. Despite the success represented by the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement and its fundamental importance in enshrining a shared legal framework, there is still a striking deficit in adequate governance architecture or mechanisms at the global level – and in many, or most, parts of the world also at the national and regional levels – that could reliably promote implementation of strong and expedient climate policies for the achievement of the necessary collective climate targets.
• Humanity is facing one of its gravest crises ever, but has so far failed to rise to the challenge. Existing pathways to keep global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius – a level beyond which, according to science, the risk of disastrous and irreversible consequences of ongoing global warming grows substantially – are rapidly becoming very narrow and will soon be closed.
• To stay within the limited remaining carbon budget, in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius ambition, global emissions of greenhouse gases must be cut by half every decade, starting immediately. In addition, significant amounts of carbon that have already been emitted must be removed from the atmosphere, for example by protecting and enhancing natural carbon sinks such as forests and peatlands, and potentially also by artificial carbon capture and storage technologies.
• At the same time, global climate mitigation strategies must be compatible with and support social and economic development in parts of the world where it is needed to combat poverty and to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals.
• Viable solutions exist that could keep the world on track to meet these goals, if supported by effective policy, finance, and leadership to enable rapid implementation on a global scale. But so far, responses to the climate emergency have not been characterized by effective policy or strong leadership, and very few countries are close to being on track to meet emission reduction targets aligned with the 1.5 degrees Celsius ambition.
Governing our climate future