After Joe Biden Wins US Presidential Election, He Pledges Country Will Cut Emissions 50 percent by 2030. And America is hardly alone in this ambition. According to new research By climate analytics-Part of climate action tracker Federation—131 countries are either discussing, announcing, or implementing net-zero targets. The paper notes that, if fully implemented, these would cut global emissions by 72 percent.
To what extent national climate targets can help realize the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C is an open question. But according to Matthew Gideon, one of the authors of the recent paper, these climate targets are (and may indeed continue to) have a notable impact on future climates.
“The clear message from my point of view is that the window is not closed,” he told Ars. “However, for it to really agitate, it requires significant and genuine action, especially by the world’s developed countries and the world’s largest emitters.”
In 2020, many countries launched net-zero goals and avenues to get there. Gideon and his colleagues looked at every climate policy, either proposed or introduced, and identified what all of them would mean for the climate. This was not necessarily the easiest thing to do, as countries defined their goals differently. For example, some set goals for 2050, while others set their goals for 2060. In addition, some specifically targeted carbon dioxide, while others also promised to cut other greenhouse gases, such as methane.
Overall, the research found that, if fully implemented, these targets could limit temperature rise to between 2º and 2.4º C by 2100. Without these targets, the world could expect to see a warming of 2.9º to 2, using the policies currently in force. 3.2º C in that time. According to Gideon, since the Paris Agreement was ratified in 2015, climate policies around the world have successfully taken global warming forecasts below 3.5 °C.
“To me, this speaks volumes to the importance of countries setting clear, transparent goals over the long term in the near future,” he said.
need more work
Another recent paper, The UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Synthesis The report paints a similar but somewhat less optimistic picture of the situation. As of July 30, 2021, the report stated that 86 updated or new NDCs had been submitted by 113 parties. Within this group, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease by 12 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
However, the paper noted that, to reach the Paris Agreement target of 1.5ºC, carbon dioxide emissions would need to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030. In addition, the paper noted that overall global GHG emissions are expected to increase by 16. percent by 2030. If this does not change, the world could see a rise in temperature by 2.7ºC by the end of the century. NDCs were always expected to become more stringent over time, but we lack the time to make the kind of changes we need.
Patricia Espinosa, acting secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said Press release:
Knowing how much work is going on increasing the NDCs, I again call on all parties who have not done so yet to submit new or updated NDCs. But parties that have already made submissions have the opportunity to revisit their NDCs to raise their level of ambition. The time left before COP26 is short, but I expect we may still see many more NDCs.
Indeed, Gideon said there is some clear room for improvement in the world’s climate pledges. They agreed that the world is still not on track to target the Paris Agreement. “In the near term, we are heading in the wrong direction,” he said.
There is also no guarantee that countries will actually implement their emissions reduction strategies. For example, President Biden’s climate goals have yet to be codified into law. In addition, there are many other countries that can pledge. Gideon suggested that COP26, held in Glasgow this November, may well be a defining time for climate, as countries can use it to make more ambitious climate pledges.
one more recent publication Climate analytics also suggests that G20 countries may have a bigger role to play in reducing global greenhouse gas levels, as they are responsible for about 75 percent of emissions. The paper suggests that, if all G20 countries adopted midcentury net-zero commitments and worked hard to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, warming could be limited to 1.7CC by 2100.
“Setting these goals is an important part of [reaching out climate goals]But we still need to do more,” Gideon said.