In the Paris Agreement of December 2015, governments agreed to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C.  In order to do so, global economies must transition to genuine low carbon societies. The EU has pledged to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and by 80-95% by 2050.

In the EU, robust strategies, adequate funding and resolute action by all Member States are required to reduce carbon emissions in line with Europe’s commitment.

At the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Cancun in 2010, industrialised countries committed to developing ‘Low Carbon Development Strategies’ (LCDS) to ensure a robust foundation for cutting emissions, and to report on the progress of efforts to cut emissions every two years. The EU Member States then formalised these commitments on LCDS through the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR).

Low carbon development strategy is just one of the terms used to describe the long term climate strategies which have been referred to as Low emission development strategies in the past (LEDS) as well as most recently referred to as mid-century long term low greenhouse gas emission strategies in the Paris Agreement. What is clear is that in order for these policy instruments to contribute effectively to achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals at both International and EU level, they must have a long term vision, be ambitious, credible, based on the latest scientific evidence and developed in a transparent participative manner.

However, there is still little or no clarity of the type of information that should be included in LCDSs, on the nature of the process to deliver the strategy nor on the full potential of EU ETS auctioning revenues as sources of funding for the strategy implementation.

The MaxiMiseR project aims to address these gaps and help Member States fulfill their commitments by developing meaningful LCDS, optimising the potential of the EU MMR, and identifying options for funding for decarbonisation to support the EU’s transition to a low carbon society. MaxiMiseR will reach these objectives through analysing the state of play of Europe’s Low Carbon Development Strategies, and on the current use of ETS auctioning revenues, sharing knowledge and best practice. 

By strengthening processes around and content of EU Member State Low Carbon Development Strategies (LCDS), as well as looking into funding for decarbonisation, this project will enhance the capacity of the European institutions and Governments to improve their development and implementation of strategies.

The two and a half year project is being delivered by the WWF European Policy Office and has been funded through two grants - from the EU LIFE Programme for the Environment and MAVA Foundations respectively. It began in January 2016.