World Fails to Make Crucial Progress on Climate Change, Report Says

The world is not on track to meet a single one of the 40 key goals aimed at curbing global warming, warns a new report on the climate crisis published this week by the Systems Change Laboratory.

The report sets 40 targets for 2030 and 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with targets in the energy, transportation, construction, agriculture and other industries.

“Of the 40 indicators evaluated, none are on track to meet the 2030 targets,” the report’s authors said, noting that change is on track for just eight of the targets, but moving too slowly, with 17 also on track. correct direction but at an even slower pace. The rest are stagnant or going in the wrong direction.

Funding for climate action programs “must increase nearly 13 times” to meet the targets set for 2030, the report suggested.

The 40 goals include increasing the share of renewable electricity, boosting electric vehicle sales, reducing meat consumption, reducing coal use, reforesting, reducing food waste and reducing carbon intensity in global steel production. and cement.

And according to new UN data, the world is still on track for a “catastrophic” warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Six years ago, almost every country in the world set targets to reduce their carbon emissions, but the sum total of their pledges fell far short of what was needed to prevent the planet from dangerously overheating.

Smoke and steam rise from the towers of the Urumqi coal-fired power plant in Urumqi, western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein).

That first series of “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), many conditional on funding and technical support, under the 2015 Paris Agreement, would have seen the Earth warm three to four degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. . The treaty called for a limit of “well below” 2 degrees, while a 2018 UN report set 1.5 as the de facto target.

Under the agreement’s “ratchet” mechanism, the signatories review and renew their emission reduction plans every five years, presenting a new NDC.

In 2016, China, by far the largest emitter, responsible for more than a quarter of all carbon pollution, promised to reduce the intensity of its emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030.

In September last year, President Xi Jinping made a surprise announcement at the UN General Assembly: China planned to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, which means that any remaining carbon pollution will be captured and stored, or offset.

But the country’s new five-year plan does not detail steps to reach this goal, nor has Beijing officially unveiled its revamped NDC. Meanwhile, China continues to build new coal-fired power plants, the biggest source of carbon pollution.

The second largest carbon emitter, the United States, was one of the driving forces behind the Paris agreement, with an initial commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

Emissions rise from the smokestacks at the Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant as the sun sets, near Emmett, Kansas, United States, on September 18, 2021 (Charlie Riedel / AP).

Once in office, President Joe Biden wasted no time rejoining the agreement after his predecessor Donald Trump’s decision to backtrack on America’s commitments.

The country’s new NDC calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030. This is compatible with a 2 ° C rise, but still well below the effort required to stay below a rise 1.5 ° C, according to Climate Action Tracker.

The EU committed in 2015 to reduce its CO₂ emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Member states updated this target in December, aiming to reduce emissions by “at least 55 % ”By the end of this decade, a goal also in line with 2 ° C of global warming.

Britain, which has now left the EU, has a net zero target for 2050 built into the law. It announced in December that it would seek to reduce emissions by 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, in sync with the 1.5 ° C target.

India is the third largest polluter in the world, but it has a much lower per capita carbon footprint than the other major emitters in the world. Like China, the country has come up with plans to reduce its carbon intensity, by as much as 35% this decade compared to 2005 levels. It has yet to submit a renewed NDC.

Russia, which did not formally join the Paris agreement until 2019, submitted its first carbon reduction plan under the Paris agreement in 2020. Using 1990 levels as a benchmark, Moscow said it plans to reduce carbon emissions. CO₂ by 30% by 2030. target considered “critically insufficient” by Climate Action Tracker.

More recently, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would aim for carbon neutrality by 2060, but did not provide a roadmap on how the country would get there.

The G20 nations, holding a summit in Rome over the weekend, account for more than 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Any credible path to global net zero in 2050 will require reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, according to the UN. But 2019 was a record year for emissions, which are rapidly returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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