Believe or not, out of the world’s top polluting countries, only five haven’t passed legislation to address climate change, and the US is one of them.
That’s according to the Global Legislators Organization (GLOBE), which released its fourth Climate Legislation Study of the 66 countries that produce 88% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Almost 500 climate laws have been passed in the 66 countries and developing countries are moving the fastest, the report says. Still, all the laws combined don’t meet the goal of keeping global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.
But nations are now creating a strong foundation, which can be built on as they benefit from greater efficiency and clean energy.
In Chile, the recently elected progressive government will begin taxing carbon emissions and introduce measures for coal-fired thermoelectric power plants to cut emissions. The country is the world’s top copper producer and coal-fired power plants provide energy for most of the mines.
To transition away from coal, the government released a National Energy Strategy 2012-2030, which targets 12% lower energy consumption through efficiency by 2020, and doubles the renewable energy target to 20% by 2024.
The Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2012 – 2020 creates an energy efficiency inter-ministry commission and provides support to upgrade homes and businesses. On renewable energy, the government plans to subsidize projects through a competitive process, and increase support for financing feasibility studies and insurance.
A 110 MW solar tower plant with energy storage will be built this year in Chile’s Atacama Desert, which has the highest solar radiation concentration in the world. It will be the first in Latin America.
Turkey is on course to meet its target of getting a third of its power from renewable energy by 2023, says energy minister, Taner Yildiz.
Turkey has 25 gigawatts (GW) of renewables, mostly wind, but also solar and geothermal, which will grow to 40 GW by then, he says. Wind will grow to 20 GW, solar to 3 GW, and geothermal to 600 megawatts (MW).
Pakistan, which says it faces an acute electricity shortage, has set rates for the country’s new solar PV feed-in tariff. Though rates vary based on geography they are around $0.20 per kilowatt hour, and are reduced to about $0.083 after 10 years. It is limited to PV plants between 1-100 MW.
The country is considered one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because its environment is already so degraded. Just 2-5% of forest cover remains and with 166 square miles cleared each year, it has the highest deforestation rate in Asia, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It has only a one month supply of water available, and with temperatures projected to rise 3 degrees Celsius over the next 50 years, growing food will be extremely challenging. People are already migrating elsewhere, says a study in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Read the full study or this summary of climate legislation passed in 2013: