Net-zero emissions possible with mix of climate policies

The global community has been baffled by how to mitigate climate change since there is little agreement on how to act on something that requires stringent emission reductions.

"The answer lies in a mix of climate policies, that if followed, will lead us toward the EU’s zero-emission targets, says University of Victoria climate economist," Felix Pretis, co-author of a new paper published in Nature Energy.

Instead of asking whether a particular “known” policy is effective, the researchers turned the question around and asked - what has reduced emissions so far?

They detected 10 successful policy interventions but the most successful policies combined carbon or fuel taxes with green vehicles incentives.

Pretis collaborated on the study with a research team from the Mercator Institute for Global Commons, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Oxford.

“Our findings identify effective policy interventions that reduced emissions between 8% and 26%,” says Pretis.

“What we need now is the political will to apply these policies,” adds Pretis.

The new methods to find effective policies aren’t limited to EU road CO2 emissions, but can be applied to a range of settings and countries, including Canadian provinces and global climate policies.

Funding for this research was supported by the Robertson Foundation, Clarendon Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


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