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Progress in developing countries

The limited progress in developed countries contrasts with the progress made in many developing countries in 2012.

Significant advances have been made, albeit in different ways, in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea and Vietnam. Others, including China and South Africa, have made more modest forward steps.

Mexico is perhaps the standout country in 2012 with the passage of its General Law on Climate Change (GLCC) and pioneering legislation to prepare the ground for REDD+ implementation. The GLCC gives equal focus to mitigation and adaptation, putting into legislation Mexico’s target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2020 versus her Business As Usual (BAU) scenario. It also mandates the creation of the institutional structures to support implementation of the law.

South Korea passed legislation that introduces a nationwide emissions trading scheme by 2015.

In Africa, Kenya has developed a Climate Change Authority Act that is making progress through parliament and is likely to be voted into law in early 2013. In November 2012 a public validation process paved the way for government approval and launch in early 2013 of a complementary Climate Change Action Plan that defines clear measures on adaptation and mitigation, including NAMAs, a low carbon development strategy, knowledge management and capacity development, financing mechanisms and the creation of an institutional structure to ensure effective coordination.

In Asia, Bangladesh passed the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority Act designed to promote the production and use of green energy. India published its 12th Five-Year Plan was due to be approved by the National Devel-opment Council in late December 2012. Although not technically legislation, the Five-Year Plan sets the strategic direction of the economy for the next five years and has comparable status. The Plan includes recommendations put forward by the Low Carbon Expert Group, including measures to promote and diversify domestic sources of energy and reduce the energy intensity of production processes.

Pakistan passed its National Climate Change Strategy in September 2012.

Vietnam formally approved its national REDD+ Action Programme in June 2012, designed to reduce emissions from LULUCF by setting the legal framework for pilot REDD+ programmes and activities. It includes a target to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector by 20% and to increase the natural forest cover to 44–45%, both by 2020.

In Latin America, Brazil’s new forest code, approved by President Dilma on 18 October 2012 after protracted political debate, determines, among other things, that landowners in the Amazon must maintain 80% of the native forest on their land as a forest reserve protected by law.

Chile passed two laws relating to renewable energy, including one that reinforces its target to achieve 20% of installed electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.

Colombia launched a Low Carbon Development Strategy and a National Plan for Climate Change Adaptation that, although not technically legislation, will drive action on climate change. And El Salvador approved its National Environment Policy.