The world already has the tools available to bring global emissions under control, over the next 15 years. Existing low carbon solutions need to be scaled-up across the globe.
An analysis by Finland’s innovation funding agency SITRA shows that just 17 solutions could save about 9 billion tonnes (gigatonnes, Gt) of emissions in 2025, measured in the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e).
The report presents a variety of proven, affordable low-carbon solutions that countries can choose from. These solutions are already being applied in varying conditions in both the global North and the South. They cover multiple sectors from energy to construction, from transport to forests.
In 2030 the impact would be 12 Gt. A reduction of 9 Gt is equal to the present emissions of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America combined. A saving of 12 Gt equals the emissions of China and Japan put together – or a quarter of global annual emissions. Reductions would be below baselines based on current policies.
Implementing the 17 solutions could actually save money over time. The annual median net costs of scaling up all the solutions are −$18 billion in 2025 and −$38 billion in 2030.
The report analyses how far the world could cut emissions by scaling up existing low-carbon solutions, from parts of the world where they are already proven to comparable countries. It looks at concrete examples of tried-and tested solutions that have already been implemented on a significant scale in some countries – from Brazil to Mexico and China to Japan. Crucial ns, we expect comparable countries to achieve only the same level in 2030 that others have already achieved today. No new technology.
The report says that there are many more solutions that the 17 they have selected. If all proven solutions were included, the impact would be significantly bigger. Second, the solutions are only scaled up to a level in 2030 that leading countries have already achieved to date.
Ambitious climate action is not only possible; it is attractive. This report aims to help governments meet their national climate commitments. More importantly, the report will hopefully help governments go beyond their current commitments.
All that countries need to do is simply do what others have already achieved.