Reality Check: Lessons from 25 Policies Advancing a Low-Carbon Future

22nd September 2023

Reality Check: Lessons from 25 Policies Advancing a Low-Carbon Future

To address the myriad challenges posed by global climate change, countries at all income levels have put in place a diverse set of policies over the past three decades. Many governments have already made significant progress in their efforts to decarbonize, creating a rich history of implementation experiences that provides important lessons for how to successfully advance climate policy goals in a variety of different economic, cultural, and political contexts.

Despite this progress, the transition to a net zero future continues to face significant barriers, including the need for large investment, a lack of institutional capacity, and challenging political economy issues. ‘Reality Check: Lessons from 25 Policies Advancing a Low-Carbon Future’ identifies key policy approaches that countries are taking to decarbonize their economies.

The report classifies policies into five categories: 1. Planning for a future with zero net emissions; 2. Getting the pricing and taxes right; 3. Facilitating and triggering transitions in key systems, such as energy and food; 4. Getting the finance flowing, particularly by incentivizing private sector investment; 5. Ensuring a just transition that protects the poor. ‘Reality Check: Lessons from 25 Policies Advancing a Low-Carbon Future’ fills a critical research gap by documenting low-carbon policy trends and providing a series of case studies across sectors and geographies.

The 25 case studies furnish country contexts and policy details, examine results and impacts, and outline key takeaways and lessons learned for enabling further ambition in achieving emissions reductions. The report contributes to an evolving analytical agenda on how to reduce carbon emissions while achieving economic development and the strategic transition to a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive future.

Report by the World Bank