G20 coun­tries not re­ally on track to re­alise 2030 emis­sion re­duc­tion goals

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

“We are nowhere near solv­ing the prob­lem”, Satya Tri­pathi, UN As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral told the press here on Tues­day as he pre­sented UN En­vi­ron­ment’s ninth an­nual Emis­sions Gap Re­port.

“Things will only get worse un­less we see that (cli­mate change) is a risk to ev­ery­thing we like and ap­pre­ci­ate on this planet”. The re­port emerges five days be­fore the start of the twoweek 196-na­tion UN cli­mate change ne­go­ti­a­tions in Ka­tow­ice, Poland and the day be­fore the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion presents its pro­pos­als for a Union long-term low car­bon de­vel­op­ment strat­egy to 2050.

Writ­ten by a team of lead­ing sci­en­tists the re­port fol­lows the dra- mat­i­cally worded doc­u­ment is­sued on 8 Oc­to­ber by the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change re­lat­ing to the fea­si­bil­ity of lim­it­ing global warm­ing to 1.5C above prein­dus­trial level (the cur­rent level is al­ready +1.1C) and the dire con­se­quences of ex­ceed­ing that level even just up to the +2c pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered to be a safe limit. The Paris Agree­ment on Cli­mate Change (2015) com­mits its cur­rent 184 Con­tract­ing Par­ties to “hold­ing the in­crease in the global av­er­age tem­per­a­ture to well be­low 2 °C above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els and to pur­sue ef­forts to limit the tem­per­a­ture in­crease to 1.5 °C .

The Emis­sions Gap re­port says that while it is still tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble to achieve the +1.5C goal, this will no longer hold un­less cur­rent green­house gas emis­sion re­duc­tion goals for 2030 are sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased. If the emis­sions gap is not closed by 2030, it is very plau­si­ble that the goal of well-be­low 2°C tem­per­a­ture in­crease is also out of reach. While 2017 global emis­sions, reached a record high in 2017, by 2030 they need to be ap­prox­i­mately 25 per­cent and 55 per­cent lower to put the world on a least-cost path­way to lim­it­ing global warm­ing to 2°C and 1.5°C re­spec­tively.

Ac­count­ing for 78 per cent of global emis­sions, the G20 na­tions – the world’s most ad­vanced economies whose heads of state and gov­ern­ment will con­duct their an­nual sum­mit on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day this week in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina - are not yet col­lec­tively on track to re­alise their 2030 emis­sion re­duc- tion goals an­nounced in their Na­tion­ally De­ter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions. Nor will their col­lec­tive emis­sions have peaked by 2030 with­out a rapid in­crease in am­bi­tion and ac­tion within the next few years.

“Ma­jor gaps in cov­er­age and strin­gency of do­mes­tic poli­cies re­main, in­clud­ing among G20 mem­bers,” the re­port says “in, for ex­am­ple, fos­sil fuel sub­sidy re­duc­tion, ma­te­rial ef­fi­ciency mea­sures in in­dus­try, oil and gas, meth­ane, sup­port schemes for re­new­ables heat­ing and cool­ing, emis­sion stan­dards for heavy-duy ve­hi­cles, and e-mo­bil­ity pro­grammes. Even in ar­eas where pol­icy cov­er­age is high, strin­gency can be im­proved. For ex­am­ple, while all G20 coun­tries have poli­cies to sup­port re­new­ables in the elec­tric­ity sec­tor, strin­gency of these poli­cies can still be en­hanced.”

While the emis­sion re­duc­tion po­ten­tial from non-state and sub­na­tional ac­tion could ul­ti­mately be sig­nif­i­cant, the cur­rent im­pacts are ex­tremely lim­ited the re­port warns. “Not even 20 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion is rep­re­sented in cur­rent na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ini­tia­tives while many more of the over 500,000 pub­licly traded com­pa­nies world­wide still can, and must, act”.

“A record of just over $74 bil­lion of Green Bonds were is­sued in the first half of 2018, still only a very small frac­tion of global cap­i­tal mar­kets. The use of car­bon pric­ing to re­duce GHG emis­sions is still only emerg­ing in many coun­tries and gen­er­ally not ap­plied at a suf­fi­cient level to fa­cil­i­tate a real shift to­wards low-car­bon so­ci­eties.

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