Are countries implementing their Paris agreement pledges?

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In December 2018, at the COP24 climate change conference in the Polish city of Katowice, almost 200 countries signed up to a rulebook for implementing the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change.

The 156-page “rulebook” was described by the UN as a “robust set of guidelines” for implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The landmark agreement, reached in 2015 at the COP21, aims to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius.

Each country must make a voluntary pledge of climate action.

As world leaders are about to meet again for the COP25 conference in Madrid from 2 to 13 December 2019, Euronews takes a look at the pledges and the progress that has been made.

136 out of 184 national pledges ‘insufficient’ – report
Only the 28 EU countries and a few others, among them Switzerland, Norway and Ukraine, are expected to live up to their climate pledges, a report by the Universal Ecological Fund (FEU) has found.

The analysis of current pledges to reduce emissions between 2020 and 2030, published this month, says that “almost 75% of the climate pledges are partially or totally insufficient to contribute to reducing GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and some of these pledges are unlikely to be achieved.”

The report judges that out of the 184 national Paris agreement pledges made, 136 are insufficient.

“Because the climate pledges are voluntary, technicalities, loopholes and conditions continue to postpone decisive global action to reduce emissions and address climate change”, the report says.

The 28 EU member states committed to reducing GHG emissions “at least 40% from 1990 level” by 2030. According to the FEU report, EU states are “on track to cut GHG emissions by 58% by 2030.”

India’s pledge, to “reduce the emissions intensity (of all GHGs) of its GDP by 30-35% from 2005 level by 2030”, is expected to be met, the report says, despite the country’s emissions “growing rapidly”, like China.

Meanwhile, the report notes, Russia “has not even submitted its plan to cut emissions yet.”

Overall, “at least 130 nations, including 4 of the top 5 world’s largest emitters, are falling far short of contributing to meeting the 50% global emission reductions required by 2030 to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”, the FEU warns in its report.

Most countries take ‘insufficient’ action that would lead to over 2°C global warming
Another scientific analysis by the Climate Action Tracker, a tool created by a consortium of climate institutes, is even bleaker.

According to the Climate Action Tracker, the climate action of most countries, including all the EU member states and other big emitters like Australia and Canada are “insufficient” and would lead to over 2°C and up to 3°C or 4°C global warming.

A few countries, like Bhutan, India and the Philippines, are ranked as “2°C Paris agreement compatible” and the only two countries whose pledges are “1.5°C Paris agreement compatible” are Morocco and the Gambia:

“The European Union’s climate and energy policy developments during 2018 and early 2019 are steps in the right direction towards re-establishing its position as a global leader on climate policy action”, the Climate Action Tracker notes.

“However, the EU also needs to radically increase the emissions reduction goal in its Paris Agreement commitment (NDC) to reflect not only the policies it has already adopted, but also what it can achieve by 2030.”

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