Report: "Tops and Flops"
The implementation of the right policies is critical to jump-start the transition to a low carbon economy, so as the U.S. seeks to pass climate legislation it's crucial to pay attention to lessons-learned from policies already undertaken internationally. WWF and E3G have recently released a report analyzing successful and unsuccessful climate policies, called "Tops and Flops," which is helpful in highlighting the types of policies that have successfully benefited both the economy and reduced emissions, including:
· Germany's efficiency-in-buildings program and "feed-in tariffs" for renewable electricity, which have significantly reduced emissions, created jobs in the construction sector, and are broadly replicable in others countries.
· Mexico's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has cut traffic and reduced emissions but has additional health and convenience benefits.
· Brazil's actions to reduce emissions from deforestation in the Amazon region by creating new protected areas and preventing illegal logging.
· Spain's requirement for all new buildings to install solar thermal and PV, complemented by subsidies, low-interest loans and tax incentives.
· The UK's obligation for energy and gas suppliers to increase energy efficiency in homes; and · China's mandatory reduction targets for the 1000 most energy-intensive enterprises have led to permanent improvements in energy management and efficiency.
Policy measures that failed to produce benefits include preferential treatment of energy-intensive industries, the lack of a comprehensive water management approach in arid regions and subsidies for local mining, nuclear power, and car-based transportation and aviation.
The reason leading businesses are calling for an intelligent regulatory framework, both in the U.S. and internationally, is to make it easier to invest in technological solutions and to unleash the innovation of the private sector in solving this problem. What is obvious is that countries that have framed the right policies have enjoyed both environmental and economic benefits as a result.
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