Net Zero Regulation Stocktake

NET ZERO REGULATION STOCKTAKE: What does the road to Net zero look like?

Regulations related to the transition to net zero are already in place in a number of jurisdictions and are recommended by the United Nations to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. There is, however, a gap in knowledge of the regulations that already exist or are in progress, as well as instruments that could be reformed to encompass net zero goals.

To fill this gap, between May and August 2023, Oxford Net Zero took stock of national-level climate regulations and policy instruments coming from G20 members. The 2023 Stocktake is a precursor to expanded, systematic tracking of net zero-related regulations. The forthcoming tracker will be an initiative by the Net Zero Regulation and Policy Hub at the University of Oxford.

Regulatory Domains

Types of instruments tracked so far:
1. Claims & Financial Product Standards

Advertising products, services, or corporate performance as “net zero” or similar is subject to specific criteria, including compliance with financial product standards.

2. Disclosure

Companies and financial institutions report on the risk of climate impacts and decarbonisation.

3. Procurement

Governments condition procurement to firms and products that meet well-defined net zero or decarbonisation standards.

4. Transition Plans

Regulators require firms to outline their pathways to net zero or decarbonisation.

Key results

Regulation aRE disseminated around the world

The majority (15 out of 20) of G20 members have implemented regulations in at least one of the tracked regulatory domains. Additionally. all of the countries that are yet to regulate have instruments under development, indicating ongoing efforts towards regulation.

This dynamic regulatory scenario emphasises the importance of continued monitoring, analysis, and collaboration to drive effective and comprehensive regulation towards achieving global decarbonization.

THE REGULATIONS ARE COMING FROM DEVELOPING AND DEVELOPED NATIONS

All in all, governments are developing climate regulations to support their decarbonization pathways. This is being done across the G20, by both developing and developed nations. While there is evident progress, comprehensive regulation has yet to be adopted, as no G20 member has regulated in all four of the covered domains so far. 

G20 members account for 85% of the world’s economy. Moving the needle towards regulated net zero actions in these countries plays a pivotal role in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy worldwide.

VOLUNTARY STANDARDS ARE GAINING MOMENTUM IN NATIONAL REGULATIONS

Voluntary standards have been fundamental in creating and promoting best practices for net zero action but have limited reach. The data indicates that the shift from voluntary standards to their incorporation into mandatory national regulations is underway.

Over 160 mapped instruments make use of standards to support their text. Individual standards have been referenced (cited, used as a basis, encouraged or required) over 390 times, with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) being the most frequently cited. 24 out of the 77 mapped climate regulations either mandate compliance with a standard or align themselves to one.

sTOCKTAKE RESOURCES

DATASET – BETA VERSION

The bulk of data collection took place between May and June 2023 by Lucilla Dias and Adriana Elera, with some supplementary data reviews in July and August 2023. The dataset is in a beta version and is subject to change.

We appreciate your feedback! If you have information to complement the dataset or spot any misinterpretations, please get in touch with us at lucilla.dias@bsg.ox.ac.uk and kaya.axelsson@ouce.ox.ac.uk.

REPORT

Access the 2023 Stocktake Report for a detailed version of our findings.

CODEBOOK

Access the codebook for a definition of the mapped fields. 

BRIEF

Please see our brief on early findings prepared for London Climate Week, 2023.

DISCOVER more RESEARCH

What is net zero?
the urgency of zero
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Carbon offsetting

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