Ricardo advises nations on low carbon ambitions

30 October 2015 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

In the lead-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Ricardo has been supporting 15 Island and developing nations create strong and well-argued Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Ricardo will further provide post-conference support in the development of policies, institutions and reporting entities to the respective nations.

That global warming is the result of human activity is supported by the majority of recent scientific findings. Governments, in response to assessments of the wide and deep impact that high levels of climate change are projected to have on the current form of human civilisation, have been spurred into an almost universally accepted global accord to limit warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. A level seen by the scientific community as the upper bound of mitigating the more severe negative climate effects on the world’s people and biodiversity from human greenhouse gas waste causing activity.

In a bid to develop a clear and achievable trajectory to stay below the 2C, a conference is planned in Paris near the end of this year at which a global deal will be hammered out. The conference is set to be concluded with a binding and universal agreement on how the target is to be met, with input from all of the nations of the world.

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) tend to be those that are disproportionately affected by climate change, but also the ones that have the weakest and least sophisticated voice. In a bid to improve the voice of the LDCs and SIDs, Ricardo Energy & Environment set out to provide consulting support as well as develop an unofficial guide that helps the LDCs and SIDs prepare clear and concise Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for their part in the wider United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In total, the firm supported 15 countries – with a combined population of 500 million – with their preparation for the conference. Its teams worked closely with the respective national governments on the selection of fair and ambitious levels of climate change action that are in line with climate goals as well as with their national circumstances and levels of capacity, preparedness and ambition. The guide further supports the LDCs and SIDs to voice arguments that place the onus of responsibility for climate action on more developed nations and their donors.

Ricardo advices nations on low carbon ambitions

The firm has also helped the nations identify how climate change will affect them, suggesting practical adaptation actions to respond to the relevant risks. Post conference and its resultant agreement, Ricardo’s climate change team will further support the countries develop the policies, create the institutional capacities and reporting system required to meet the new obligations stemming from INDC commitments.

Chris Dodwell, Ricardo Energy & Environment’s International Director, says: “We are proud to have supported countries across the world – ranging from developed nations to least developing countries and small islands - in their efforts to develop fair and ambitious contributions to the global response to climate change. Every country faces its own unique challenges in determining how it will tackle climate change, and we have helped countries ensure their INDCs stimulate practical low carbon measures aligned with their national development goals. All countries now share the common challenge of putting their INDCs into action.  We need to build on the momentum generated by the Paris COP21 to turn the potential identified in these INDCs into reality.”