As 2012 drew to a close, government leaders from around the world gathered in Doha for the annual UN climate change summit. As expected, the 2012 summit – known as COP18 – was more of a milestone than a landmark event in its own right.
Outside of the UN process, policymakers from 33 major economies met in January for the inaugural GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit in London. The organisation’s third Climate Legislation Study was unveiled at the summit, which showed that during 2012, 32 of the 33 major economies present made progress, or are progressing with, significant climate or energy related legislation at a national level. This is an encouraging development in the face of continued, slow progress at the global level. In this edition of Global Green Policy Insights we highlight some of the most recent national and subnational green policy developments, including the January launches of carbon markets in California, Quebec and Kazakhstan, as well as plans for the introduction of a carbon market in Vietnam. We take a look at Switzerland’s new carbon law, details of the United Kingdom’s carbon price support programme and Japan’s agreement to establish a bilateral carbon offset scheme with Mongolia. Support schemes for renewable energy have continued to be a hot topic in recent months, with the Czech government approving a National Action Plan for clean energy, France doubling its target for solar energy and Italy approving a new renewable heat incentive scheme. Germany also late last year introduced new laws for offshore wind to accelerate private investment in the sector.