Global climate policy is undergoing a rite of passage. What used to be a conversation about ambitious target-setting now focuses increasingly on implementation and interventions to put these targets in good stead. This liminal transition from ambition to implementation is complex, and presents deep ambiguities that are challenging for scientists to communicate and for decisionmakers to fathom.
A critical question to understand is whether we can believe that countries will deliver on the commitments they have made. By evaluating policy characteristics of countries’ net-zero targets we can assign the targets credibility ratings, then estimate how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and temperature are differentiated by our confidence in the targets. When we consider the credibility of current climate pledges, our assessment shows that the world remains far from delivering a safe climate future.