GEF CEO and STAP Chair Emphasize Need for Transformational Policies

GEF20 March 2013: During discussions on engineering a transformational shift to low-carbon economies in the developing world held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), officials from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) called for a move from incremental reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a transformational shift to a decarbonized energy supply and economy.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, cited a study by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) titled “Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment for the GEF.” The study argues that a transformation to low-carbon economies requires comprehensive strategies on climate change mitgation, encompassing policy development, innovation, reduction in energy demand, deployment of low-carbon options, and capacity building to enable developing countries to participate in future global climate regime.

Remarking on the need for such comprehensives strategies, Thomas Lovejoy, STAP Chair and Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center, underscored the need for "transformative change in present systems and policies linked to global food supply, urbanization, building designs, and sustainable development." Recognizing that this is "a formidable task," he noted that "we now have before us a clear roadmap.”

Drawing on the recent literature on climate change, adaptation and mitigation, the STAP report highlights opportunities for the GEF to support “traditional” policy areas like energy efficiency, renewable energy, and REDD+, as well as emerging areas such as urban systems, agriculture, forests and other land-use (AFOLU), and agri-food supply systems. [GEF Press Release] [Publication: Climate Change: A Scientific Assessment for the GEF] [Publication Website]