Speaking at the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s High-Level Assembly where he launched the report, Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative on Climate Change Affairs and President of Tsinghua University’s Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, said: “Many governments increasingly recognize that co-governance is an effective way to build consensus and rally support for low-carbon climate strategies for which immediate benefits are hard to see. But most people can see and feel the benefits of air pollution control, urban infrastructure retrofits and clean energy development. Besides, by killing multiple birds with one stone, co-governance of the climate, environment and development is cost-effective and achieves greater economic, social, environmental and climate benefits. It works in China, and I am sure it will work in other countries.”
The country case studies in the report show how environmental and climate co-governance is advancing rapidly all over the world, and in countries at every stage of economic development, but also that harmonized governance is a process that must be backed by science. In each case, the countries assessed their policies and measures to find out how they benefit climate change mitigation, air quality, health and socio-economic development.
Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway, said: “This type of analysis assists governments in compiling a portfolio of measures that contributes both to reducing the short-term rate of warming as well as safeguarding the long-term perspectives of the Paris Agreement.”
For many countries, the local benefits and immediate results of action, both for air quality and climate change mitigation, are important development concerns and a key ingredient for greater ambition to reduce emissions. Quantifying the impact of policies on public health was a key driver for action in all cases, even in Finland which has relatively low air polluting emissions.