Government climate action would see warming well beyond 2˚C – analysis




Bonn — 2 September 2015 — The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2°C, the Climate Action Tracker said today.
 
The analysis by the consortium of four research organisations was released today in Bonn where Governments are meeting for the second to last week of negotiations ahead of Paris.
 
Around 65% of global emissions are covered by the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) submitted by 29 Governments as of 1 September 2015. The CAT has assessed 15 of these INDCs, covering 64.5% of global emissions, and has rated seven as “inadequate,” six “medium” and only two as “sufficient” (see notes below).
 
The CAT analysis shows that in order to hold global warming below 2˚C, governments need to significantly strengthen the INDCs they have submitted to date: they need to collectively  reduce global emissions by a further 12-15 GtO2e by 2025, and 17-21 GtCO2e by 2030.
 
The projected emissions pathway from the combined INDCs also show a very different situation in 2025 than in 2030.  If the current 2030 INDCs are locked in, holding warming below 2˚C would become almost infeasible, as CO2 emission reduction rates would need to exceed 5% a year after 2030, and would make holding warming below 1.5˚C almost impossible.
 
“It is clear that if the Paris meeting locks in present climate commitments for 2030, holding warming below 2˚C could essentially become infeasible, and 1.5˚C  beyond reach. Given the present level of pledged climate action, commitments  should only be made until 2025,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics.  “The INDCs therefore need to be considerably strengthened for the period 2020-2025.”

There has been little change in projected aggregate emissions under INDCs since the CAT projected warming of 2.9-3.1˚C in Lima in December 2014, despite the number of INDCs having been submitted this year. The CAT Lima projection included the draft INDCs of the US, the EU and China, which together account for 51% of global emissions. The additional INDCs only cover another 15% of global emissions.
 
“One would have expected all the new Government climate targets combined to put the world on a lower emissions pathway, but they haven’t. One contributing factor is the fact that Russia, Canada, and New Zealand’s INDCs are inconsistent with their stated long term (2050) goals,” said Louise Jeffery of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
 
The CAT also found that, in most cases, the policies governments have in place now would not reduce emissions enough to match their INDCs for 2025. The exceptions are China and the EU, who would have to implement minimal extra policies to meet their targets, and could exceed them.
 
“With current policies being insufficient to limit emissions even to the INDC levels by 2025, it is clear that ramping up greater policy action needs to be encouraged as part of the Paris Agreement,” said Professor Kornelis Blok of Ecofys.
 
“Most governments that have already submitted an INDC need to review their targets in light of the global goal and, in most cases, will need to strengthen them.  Those still working on their targets need to ensure they aim as high as possible,” said Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute. 

The next ten highest emitters yet to submit INDCs are India, Brazil, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, and Pakistan, together accounting for 18% of remaining global emissions not yet covered by INDCs (excluding LULUCF).

Full analysis here
 
Contacts
Dr Bill Hare, Climate Analytics: +49-160-908-62463
Dr. Louise Jeffery, Potsdam Institute +49 331 288 2482
Dr. Niklas Höhne, NewClimate Institute +49 173 715 2279 (in Bonn)
Prof Kornelis Blok, Ecofys, +31 30 662 3399
 
NOTES
 
Seven submitted INDCs are inadequate; Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Russia’s INDCs are not considered to be a fair contribution to limiting warming to 2°C – from almost any perspective
 
Six submitted INDCs are medium, which is within the upper and least ambitious end of what could be considered as fair and if all countries put forward a similar level of ambition, warming would exceed 2°C.  China, the EU, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland and the US INDCs are consistent with 2°C according to some perspectives on their fair-share contribution, but they still rely on others to have more ambitious targets in order for the world to hold warming to 2˚C. 
 
Two submitted INDCs are sufficient; only two of the countries assessed by the CAT – Ethiopia and Morocco – have so far put forward an INDC that is in line with 2°C.
 
Gabon was also assessed, but not rated.  
 

http://www.climateactiontracker.org 
 
The Climate Action Tracker is an independent, science-based assessment that tracks government action on climate, meaasuring it against the globally-agreed warming limit of 2˚C.  he emission reduction commitments and actions of countries.  It is a joint project of the following organisations:
 
Climate Analytics
Climate Analytics is a non-profit organization based in Potsdam, Germany. It has been established to synthesize climate science and policy research that is relevant for international climate policy negotiations. It aims to provide scientific, policy and analytical support for Small Island States (SIDS) and the least developed country group (LDCs) negotiators, as well as non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in the ‘post-2012’ negotiations. Furthermore, it assists in building in-house capacity within SIDS and LDCs. Contact: Dr. h.c. Bill Hare, +49 160 908 62463
www.climateanalytics.org
 
Ecofys – Experts in Energy 
Established in 1984 with the mission of achieving “sustainable energy for everyone”, Ecofys has become the leading expert in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets as well as energy & climate policy. The unique synergy between those areas of expertise is the key to its success. Ecofys creates smart, effective, practical and sustainable solutions for and with public and corporate clients all over the world. With offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and the US, Ecofys employs over 250 experts dedicated to solving energy and climate challenges. Contact: Prof Kornelis Blok, +31 6 558 667 36
www.ecofys.com

NewClimate Institute
NewCLimate Institute is a non-profit institute established in 2014. NewClimate Institute supports research and implementation of action against climate change around the globe, covering the topics international climate negotiations, tracking climate action, climate and development, climate finance and carbon market mechanisms. NewClimate Institute aims at connecting up-to-date research with the real world decision making processes. Contact: Dr. Niklas Höhne, +49 173 715 2279
www.newclimate.org
 
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
The PIK conducts research into global climate change and issues of sustainable development. Set up in 1992, the Institute is regarded as a pioneer in interdisciplinary research and as one of the world’s leading establishments in this field. Scientists, economists and social scientists work together, investigating how the earth is changing as a system, studying the ecological, economic and social consequences of climate change, and assessing which strategies are appropriate for sustainable development. Contact: Dr. Louise Jeffery, [email protected]
www.pik-potsdam.de