The post-2020 climate pledges made so far are too weak to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2C by the end of the century, a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Monday.
The agency has assessed post-2020 targets for countries accounting for about two-thirds of global emissions, including the INDCs submitted to the UN as well as plans from nations such as China, which has signalled roughly what will be in their plans.
“A first assessment reveals these pledges will have a positive impact on future energy trends, but fall short of the major course correction required to meet the 2C goal,” the IEA said.
The IEA said the 2C target should be translated into an absolute target on GHG emissions, to make it easier to implement in the energy sector and create investor confidence.
Major emitters such as China, the EU and the United States have all announced they will step up emission reduction efforts in the next decade, but their pledges fall well short of their potential, the IEA found.
It said the plans put the world on a trajectory to see energy-related carbon emissions peak in 2030, whereas IEA researchers found that global emissions can peak in 2020 – a full decade sooner – at no extra cost.
“It is clear that the energy sector must play a critical role if efforts to reduce emissions are to succeed. While we see growing consensus among countries that it is time to act, we must ensure that the steps taken are adequate and that the commitments made are kept,” Maria van der Hoeven, IEA’s executive director, said.
According to the IEA, global emissions would peak in 2020 if the following five measures are implemented:
• Increasing energy efficiency in the industry, buildings and transport sectors
• Reducing the use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction
• Increasing investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030
• Gradual phasing out of fossil-fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030
• Reducing methane emissions in oil and gas production
“For countries that have submitted climate pledges for COP21, the proposed strategy identifies possible areas for over-achievement. For those that have yet to make a submission, it sets out a pragmatic baseline,” the IEA said,