It’s Friday, January 27, and global climate commitments gained significant steam over the past few months.

A photovoltaic power plant in Ruicheng County of Yuncheng

The period between October and January saw the “strongest quarterly results” in the number and strength of climate-related policy and technology developments around the world since November 2021, according to a new assessment released on Wednesday. The analysis illustrates promising progress toward a pathway to limit global warming to 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

“The EU and U.S. are now primed for a race to the top on clean technology as climate objectives take center stage,” said the analysis from Inevitable Policy Response, or IPR — a research group commissioned by the U.N.-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.

Out of 117 climate-related policy and technology pledges and announcements made between October and January, 84 were projected to align with the 1.8-degree goal, while 17 were deemed “evidence of acceleration” — meaning they could keep global warming even lower. These include initiatives from the United States to reduce emissions from its transportation, buildings, power, and industrial sectors, supported by record funding in President Joe Biden’s climate spending bill. The U.S., Canada, Australia, and the EU have continued planning a phaseout of gasoline-powered cars and addressing methane from agriculture, while Brazilian and EU pledges to protect forests are making progress to end deforestation by 2030.

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China, which continues to lead the world in clean energy manufacturing, has also announced new objectives to achieve carbon neutrality. A separate analysis from IPR says trade competition among China and the U.S. and EU could lead to more ambitious climate action. That rivalry could drive major countries to build more clean energy capacity than ever before, IPR said.

Recent commitments made under the Just Energy Transition Partnership, a program in which wealthy countries and investment banks help finance the phaseout of coal-fired power generation in the Global South, is expected to ramp down emissions in South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam. An assessment from the London School of Economics finds that national and international climate policies are increasingly prioritizing such “just transition” concepts, which broadly seek to deliver the benefits of clean-energy investment to underserved communities and to countries that have contributed little to the planet’s cumulative greenhouse gas emissions.

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