Panama has submitted its UN climate pledge, making it one of the last nations to hand in their contributions to the Paris Agreement and coming a week before world leaders reconvene to sign the global pact.
The Central American nation becomes the 189th of 195 UNFCCC parties to submit. Nations yet to do so are all relatively small emitters including war-torn Syria and Libya, isolationist North Korea, as well as East Timor and Paris-objector Nicaragua.
Panama’s NDC (nationally-determined contribution) features a goal to source 30% of its electricity from non-hydro sources of renewables, up from a BAU projection of 10%.
This projection foresees electricity demand jumping by more than 600% from 2014 to 2050, a steep rise to be met by a massive expansion in carbon-emitting gas- and coal-fired generation, with hydro power estimated to be virtually unchanged over that period.
Currently, some 60% of Panama’s electricity comes from renewables: 52% from hydro, 7% from wind and 1% from solar.
Panama reported CO2 emissions amounting to 26 million tonnes in 2000, with 81% of that from land-use.
The NDC pointed out that the country’s $5 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, due to be completed this year, would shorten the distance travelled by the world’s merchant fleet by 5%, thus contributing to global emission reductions.
The submission also reported that Panama is considering designing a carbon market and will participate in negotiations for market-based measures from international aviation and shipping, and towards this it will undertake voluntary measures to cut CO2 in those sectors.
The document included a unilateral 2050 goal to increase the CO2-absorption capacity of its land by 10%, rising to 80% with international support.
Panama also plans to launch a $250,000 international hub for REDD+ “to facilitate collaboration between public and private actors in the fight against deforestation, promote a culture of sustainable forest management and international trade in carbon emission reductions.”
It added that it will also donate $1 million to the Green Climate Fund.
By Ben Garside – email@example.com