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Climate change poses an existential threat to humankind. The intertwined nature of climate change and human rights becomes apparent as we witness the adverse effects on various dimensions of human life. To address the climate emergency, we must slow down the rate of warming as much as possible as quickly as possible. Only a dual strategy to reduce both non-carbon dioxide super climate pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) can keep global temperatures within safe limits and protect human rights for present and future generations. This Brief outlines how the climate emergency is a challenge of temperature, tipping points, and time.

Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

Cutting methane emissions is the fastest way to slow warming in the near term and keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C within reach. Methane plays an increasingly important role in China’s responses to climate change. This paper reviews a number of measures aimed at reducing its methane emissions China has adopted over the past few years and outlines significant opportunities remaining to maximize China’s climate mitigation impact.

By phasing out production and consumption of most ozone-depleting substances (ODSs), the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) has avoided consequences of increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation and will restore stratospheric ozone to pre-1980 conditions by mid-century, assuming compliance with the phaseout. However, several studies have documented an unexpected increase in emissions and suggested unreported production of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) and potentially other ODSs after 2012 despite production phaseouts under the Montreal Protocol. Furthermore, because most ODSs are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs), there are significant climate protection benefits in collecting and destroying the substantial quantities of historically allowed production of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol that are contained in existing equipment and products and referred to as ODS “banks”. This technical note presents a framework for considering offsets to ozone depletion, climate forcing, and other environmental impacts arising from occurrences of unexpected emissions and unreported production of Montreal Protocol controlled substances, as recently experienced and likely to be experienced again. We also show how this methodology could be applied to the destruction of banks of controlled ODSs and GHGs or to halon or other production allowed under a Montreal Protocol Essential Use Exemption or Critical Use Exemption. Further, we roughly estimate the magnitude of offset each type of action could provide for ozone depletion, climate, and other environmental impacts that Montreal Protocol Parties agree warrant remedial action.

Fast action to mitigate non-CO2 climate pollutants, such as methane, including through implementing methane intensity requirements (such as via procurement specifications) for domestic and imported oil and gas, can have a significant role in reducing the likelihood of triggering catastrophic climate impacts as countries pursue carbon-neutrality goals. Without robust monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of methane emissions, we will not be able to know the efficacy of methane mitigation policies and programs or whether we are meeting methane mitigation targets. Acting quickly to ensure that new investments in oil and gas infrastructure are built with enhanced MRV systems and methane intensity requirements in mind is essential to limiting risks of stranded assets and aligning with carbon-neutrality goals.

This paper reviews MLF accomplishments, summarizes TEAP assessment of funding required to replenish MLF, and offers analyses of the benefits that could be achieved with more funding.

In an effort to provide insight into six Southeast Asian (SEA) markets at risk of environmental dumping, CLASP and IGSD assessed the RAC markets for Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The six countries represent 90% of the regional SEA market.

Currently energy efficiency policies in Southeast Asia lag behind the innovation in RAC technology and the policies of surrounding countries. As low-efficiency and high global warming potential refrigerants are banned in markets around the world, SEA is at risk of becoming a dumping ground for obsolete appliances manufactured by multinational companies that are banned in their own domestic markets. Rolling out and enforcing national energy efficiency policies coupled with accompanying measures would halt this trend.

There are well-established international standards for GHG monitoring and reporting, notably those under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This study examines: (i) GHG data monitoring and reporting for mandatory carbon markets based on China’s sector-based reporting standards; (ii) methods and practices related to carbon sequestration measurement; (iii) metrics and measurement standards for current and emerging financial sector climate risk disclosure, and (iv) innovative new monitoring. It begins by discussing the characteristics of data quality.

The transition away from the production and consumption of high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has prompted air conditioning, refrigeration, and heat pump equipment manufacturers to seek alternative refrigerants with lower direct climate impacts. Additional factors affecting alternative refrigerant choice include safety (i.e., flammability and toxicity), environmental, and thermodynamic constraints. At the same time, manufacturers are incentivized to seek refrigerants with higher energy efficiency, which saves on electricity costs and reduces indirect greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. The life cycle climate performance (LCCP) metric is commonly used to assess the combined direct and indirect climate impacts of refrigerant-use equipment. Here, we consider an additional impact on climate performance: the degradation of refrigerant in equipment, i.e., the direct climate impacts of high-GWP byproducts that can form as the result of adding trifluoroiodomethane (CF3I) to refrigerant blends to reduce flammability. Such a production of high-GWP gases could change the acceptability of CF3I-containing refrigerants. Further, it highlights the need to understand refrigerant degradation within equipment in calculations of the environmental acceptability of new cooling technology.

Heating and cooling demand for space conditioning and refrigeration accounts for around a fifth of global final energy consumption. Climate change, urbanization, and economic development have tripled electricity demand for cooling alone since the 1990s, with the majority coming from the use of inefficient cooling equipment, which burdens electricity grids, especially during peak hours. It is imperative to address the energy required to provide cooling. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol addresses these needs by setting ambitious global targets to phase down refrigerants with high global warming potential while improving energy efficiency. Integrating energy efficiency and the refrigerant transition will contribute to economic security, well-being, energy access and security, and sustainability among the G20 countries.

Cities are responsible for over 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 75 percent of primary energy consumption. By 2050, over two-thirds of the world population will live in cities, resulting in even greater infrastructure needs and increased carbon emissions. Yet, cities largely remain on the sidelines in the design of national and international green transition policies. Cities can combine policy, practice, and participation by leveraging innovation, technology, and partnerships while transforming local governance models. There is a need for the G20 leaders to recognize and support the role of cities in accelerating climate action toward net zero and limiting warming to 1.5 °C. This Policy Brief suggests policy recommendations informed by current trends, Urban20 (U20) engagement group priorities, and previous communications by G20 countries to address the barriers that cities face in implementing effective climate action towards net zero. These recommendations emphasize on themes around empowering cities; building technical, institutional, and financial capacities of cities; facilitating climate finance; and enabling multi-stakeholder participation for achieving integrated urban climate action.