In the Paris Climate Agreement, that went into effect on 4 November, countries promised to implement policies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. A new study by NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) provides an overview of projected greenhouse gas emissions in 25 major emitting countries and regions up to 2030 based on currently implemented climate policies. The study concludes that less than a third of these countries are on track to achieve the targets they have set themselves.
Not all countries on track to achieve targets set in INDCs
Of the 25 countries and regions studied here, 7 are (roughly) on track to achieve their self-determined (unconditional) 2025 and/or 2030 targets with currently implemented policies. These include Brazil, Chile, China, India, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The other ones (including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, the EU, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States) would require additional measures to achieve their 2025/2030 targets.
It should be noted that a country being likely to meet its targets does not necessarily mean that it undertakes more stringent action on mitigation than a country that is not on track, because it depends on the ambition of the nationally determined target and countries have different policy-making approaches.
Progress on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions also varies
The researchers also found that in some countries, such as Australia, China, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, currently implemented policies do not stop emissions from increasing until 2030 (above 2010 levels), mainly due to these countries’ projected high economic growth.
Greenhouse gas emissions in other countries are projected to remain stable at approximately current levels, or decrease further, under current policies.
Still more effort needed to stay well below 2°C
However, even if all countries’ targets are fully met, the combined mitigation impact would fall far short of that required to limit global warming to the climate targets of well below 2°C and possible to below 1.5°C, as determined in the Paris Agreement. Previous studies have shown that, even with full implementation of all the plans countries submitted for Paris, global temperatures would rise by 2.6 to 3.1°C by the end of the century.
In order to limit global warming to 'well below' 2°C, more stringent climate policies are necessary.