International climate initiatives have a 70% overlap with action promised under INDCs though could still bring the world closer to a 2C climate goal, a new study found.
The PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency found that 13 of the biggest international climate initiatives can deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions of 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2e by 2020 and 5.5 billion tonnes by 2030.
This is a similar scale to the abatement pledged by governments, but with a 70% overlap because many of the actions by cities, businesses and civil society are already included in INDCs, it said.
The combined effect of international initiatives and INDCs, taking into account their overlap, would lead to global emissions of 54-57 billion tonnes of CO2e by 2030, still higher than required to meet the 2C climate target by the end of the century.
This study formed part of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report for 2015 published last week, which found the world was on course to emit 12 billion tonnes of CO2 more in 2030 than needed to stay on track to 2C.
In an effort to encourage the widest possible action on climate, hosts France aim to officially include international climate initiatives within the UN climate negotiations at next month’s Paris summit.
UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has backed the move as a way of driving more ambition in the government-driven UN negotiations by showcasing action already occurring in countries such as in the US, where national lawmakers have been reluctant to act.
The study also includes actions by the UN’s maritime (IMO) and aviation (ICAO) agencies that cover international shipping and airline emissions which have been left outside of the UNFCCC climate negotiations despite accounting for around 5% of global GHG output and rising.
Overview of initiatives studied. Source: PBL
|International Initiatives||Key Actors|
|Top 500 companies in the
Carbon Disclosure Project
|Key actors: Companies; 2010 emissions: 3.2 GtCO2e. The Carbon Disclosure Project encourages large companies to set emission reduction targets.|
|C40 Cities, Covenant of Mayors||Key actors: Cities; 2010 emissions: 3.5 GtCO2e. C40 is a network of 75 megacities that have committed to reduction targets. The Covenant of Majors was initiated by the EU and includes more than 5700 cities, including several small towns, also outside the EU.|
|Cement Sustainability Initiative||Key actors: Cement companies; 2010 emissions: 0.5 GtCO2e. Member companies of the Cement Sustainability Initiative measure and report their emissions following a jointly agreed protocol and have set individual targets to reduce CO2 intensity.|
|Global Fuel Economy Initiative||Key actors: UNEP, IEA, transport institutes, national governments; 2010 emissions: 0.5 GtCO2e. The approach of the Global Fuel Economy Initiative is outreach, research and policy support, especially towards developing countries and aims to improve fuel efficiency in new cars by 50% by 2030.|
|HFCs proposal to the Montreal Protocol||Key actors: national governments; 2010 emissions: 0.5 GtCO2e. The HFC proposal to the Montreal Protocol aims to ring about a controlled reduction in HFC emissions over the next 30 years.|
|Global Methane Initiative, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (not included in results)||Key actors: Industries, UNEP, development banks, national governments; 2010 emissions: 4.1 GtCO2e. Several global initiatives aim to abate methane emissions. The objective of the Global Methane Initiative is to promote stronger international action to mitigate climate change while developing clean energy and stronger economies.|
|New York Declaration on Forests, UN-REDD Programme (no quantified target), Bonn Challenge (no quantified target)||Key actors: UN, national governments, civil society; 2010 emissions: 1.0 GtCO2e. Several global initiatives aim to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The New York Declaration on Forests is a non-legally binding political declaration initiated at the UN Climate Summit which aims to end natural forest loss and restore large parts of forests by 2030.|
|International Maritime Organization||Key actors: National governments; 2010 emissions: 0.6 GtCO2e. The countries of the International Maritime Organization have adopted mandatory measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.|
|International Civil Aviation Organization||Key actors: Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airspace regulators; 2010 emissions: 0.5 GtCO2e. The International Civil Aviation Organization adopted measures announced by the International Air Transport Association to continuously improve CO2 efficiency by 1.5% per year until 2020 and further actions until 2050.|
|Zero Routine Flaring by 2030||Key actors: World Bank, oil companies, development; 2010 emissions: 0.1 GtCO2e. The Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative was introduced by the World Bank to bring oil companies and national governments together to eliminate CO2 emissions from gas flaring by 2030.|
|RE100 (small impact)||Key actors: Companies; 2010 emissions: currently negligible. The RE100 aims to have at least 100 large companies making a 100% renewable commitment within a clear time frame.|
|Aichi biodiversity targets (small impact)||Key actors: National governments; 2010 emissions: 4.9 GtCO2e (global land-use emissions). The Aichi biodiversity targets is a set of multilateral agreements with the aim of preserving biodiversity, as laid down in the Convention on Biological Diversity.|
|UN Millennium goals – sanitation (small impact)||Key actors: National governments; 2010 emissions: 0.5 GtCO2e. The aim of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on sanitation is to reduce by half the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.|
By Ben Garside – email@example.com