A new year is always a chance to reflect on what has gone past, and what is to come.
The US elections may have cast a shadow over the end of 2016 - at least in climate activists’ eyes - and continued rising temperatures and global warming-related extreme weather events are causing ever more havoc far and wide. However last year also brought much good news for the planet, from the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and a Marrakech summit which took steps towards assuring its implementation, to renewable energy going from strength to strength as costs fell further than ever.
In terms of the focus of the MaxiMiseR project, long-term climate plans, 2017 has started strongly, with France submitting its 2050 strategy to the UN, the fifth country to do so after Canada, Germany, Mexico and the US at the end of last year. Hopefully this is a signal of increasing momentum and greater forward-thinking on climate internationally, and we will see more of such plans in the coming weeks and months.
However, while having a long-term plan may tick a box, it will not make much difference to tackling climate change unless that plan is good. For MaxiMiseR, a good long-term plan is ambitious, credible and enforceable. A good long-term plan is developed transparently and in a way that includes civil society.
So, how good are EU countries’ low-carbon development strategies? This is what the MaxiMiseR project is currently assessing. It is analysing all of the plans submitted so far, and it will give each one a score and make recommendations on how the plan can be improved.
We will publish our final report and overview in the new few weeks - keep an eye on @MaxiMiseREU to stay up-to-date!