Long-term strategies help countries align their short-term planning with long-term vision. The process sets a clear path for conducting long-term planning in the context of climate risks, and informs planning and investments to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
At the heart of every long-term strategy is the setting of goals for deep GHG emission reductions by 2050, through concerted efforts to ensure that all key players align their plans and activities to meet the national goals and targets.
According to the Paris Agreement’s Article 4.19, “All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.” The Conference of Parties (COP), by its decision 1/CP 21, paragraph 35, invited Parties to communicate to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2020 long-term development strategies that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
So far, only six countries—France, Benin, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and the United States—have formally done so. It is expected that countries will propose creative and innovative pathways toward the common goal of reducing GHG emissions. The long-term strategies can guide the implementation and development of the next nationally determined contributions (NDCs). This short piece discusses the objectives, benefits, and key elements of long-term strategies and is intended to be a brief guide for countries embarking on the development process to implement Article 4.19.