May 8, 2021

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UN report on Paris targets gives 75 governments a failing grade

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The climate plans drawn up by 75 countries responsible for a third of global emissions “are far from sufficient” to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement on global warming, a conclusion which should serve as a “wake-up call” for all governments. , the United Nations said in its latest report.

In a stern warning issued ahead of the November international climate summit, UN Executive Secretary on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa said the combined efforts were woefully insufficient and called on the world’s biggest emitters to “ intensify ”their ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gases this year.

Updated plans from countries like the UK, Australia and the European Union submitted before December have shown that “current levels of climate ambition are a long way from putting us on the path to achieving our goals. objectives of the Paris Agreement, ”Espinosa said.

Signatories to the Paris Agreement pledged to limit global warming to “well below” 2 ° C, above pre-industrial levels, by 2100. They were asked to present ambitious new reduction plans emissions, known as nationally determined contributions, by the end of 2020.

The 75 countries that have met this deadline represent around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If these countries’ new targets were implemented, the UN said, their combined emissions would only decrease by 0.5% by 2030, from 2010 levels. This is considerably less than the drop in 45% of global emissions needed to limit warming to 1.5 ° C, or “well below what is needed,” the UN said.

All countries, including those that had already submitted new plans, urgently needed to “consider how they could increase their ambition,” Espinosa said.

Only one of the world’s four largest emitters of greenhouse gases had submitted its plan in time to be included in the analysis – the group of 27 EU countries. New commitments have yet to be offered by China, the world’s largest emitter, the United States and India, although the US plan is expected ahead of the climate summit it will host on April 22.

Niklas Höhne, partner of the NewClimate Institute, a non-profit group that tracks action on climate change, said more ambitious targets were expected from all three countries. “We have a huge gap, we are totally off target. But hopefully we’ll see more movement during this year.

The american president Joe biden made climate action a key priority and decided to join the Paris Agreement on the first day of his term after former President Donald Trump left the agreement. China, meanwhile, pledged last year to be carbon neutral by 2060.

Höhne said the UN analysis should draw attention to countries that had not raised their targets and simply resubmitted their original plans. Japan, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia all implemented plans that failed to improve on their 2015 target. Brazil’s climate plan had no target to reduce emissions by 2030.

Without naming specific nations, Espinosa scolded those countries: “It’s amazing to think that just as nations face an emergency that could end up ending human life on this planet. . . many countries stick to their status quo approach. “

If the new plans are implemented, the collective emissions of the 75 countries could peak by 2030, the UN said. A final progress report taking into account all updated plans will be released ahead of the COP26 summit in November.

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