Emissions-reduction pledges made so far by some of the world’s top polluters fall short of what’s required to stave off dangerous climate change, a study released on Wednesday showed.
The INDCs published by 46 nations as of July 20 – representing more than half of the world’s emissions and around a quarter of all countries – would lead to annual global emissions of 56.9-59.1 billion tonnes of CO2e by 2030, according to the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science.
“While this total is much less than a ‘business as usual’ pathway that would mean emissions reach 68 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, it is much higher than the 36 billion tonnes that the United Nations Environment Programme has indicated would be consistent with having a 50-66% chance of avoiding a rise in global average temperature of more than 2 centigrade degrees above its pre-industrial level,” the study said.
The paper added the targets fall “well short” of the target of 42 billion tonnes for a pathway that avoids the temperature limit by using technologies that create ‘negative emissions’, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
Countries are in the process of submitting their non-binding commitments, called INDCs, to the UN under a so-called ‘pledge and review’ process ahead of the UN climate summit in Paris later this year.
But the report shows this ‘bottom-up’ approach is failing to deliver the required cuts, and its authors called for “hard work over the next few months by all countries to find credible ways of achieving bigger emissions reductions which can … (potentially be) achieved through additional efforts by partnerships”.
The authors also highlighted the need for the creation of a mechanism to be included in the Paris agreement for countries to review their efforts and to find ways of ramping up the ambition of their emissions reductions by 2030 and beyond.
By Mike Szabo – email@example.com