Quantcast

G20 Emissions Pledges Are Nowhere Near Adequate

Climate

The promises made by the G20 group of the world's leading economies to meet the goals reached in last December's Paris agreement on emissions reduction are nowhere near adequate, according to new analysis by a global consortium.

In a comprehensive assessment, they identify the G20 climate challenge: It needs by 2030 to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by six times more than it has pledged so far.

The analysts' report is released in Beijing today ahead of the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4 and 5.Xinhua

It needs also to move more vigorously to a green, low-carbon economy. And if the G20 goes ahead with its plans for new coal-fueled power plants, that will make it "virtually impossible" to keep global warming below 2 C, the initial target agreed at the Paris climate conference.

The analysts' report is released in Beijing today ahead of the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4 and 5.

Shared Mission

It has been produced by Climate Transparency, which describes itself as "an open global consortium with a shared mission to stimulate a 'race to the top' in climate action through enhanced transparency."

Contributors include NewClimate Institute, whose flagship projects include Climate Action Tracker, Germanwatch, which publishes an annual Global Climate Risk Index, the Overseas Development Institute, the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform and a range of other international experts.

Climate change and green finance are high on this year's G20 agenda, so the assessment examines a range of indicators—including investment attractiveness, renewable energy investment, climate policy, the carbon intensity of the energy and electricity sectors of the G20 economies, fossil fuel subsidies and climate finance.

The G20 produces 75 percent of global emissions and its energy-related greenhouse gas emissions rose by 56 percent from 1990-2013. This growth has now stalled, but, as the authors put it, "There is still more brown than green on the Climate Transparency G20 scorecard," although they concede that it is "beginning to head in the right direction."

Alvaro Umaña, Costa Rica's former environment and energy minister, is co-chair of Climate Transparency. He said:

"The G20 has proven that it can be nimble and take action on economic issues, so we are looking to these countries to do the same for the climate.

"Our report shows that while global emissions growth may be coming to an end, there is not yet the necessary dynamic to transform the 'brown' fossil-fuel based economy into the 'green.'

"There remains a tremendous opportunity for the G20 to make this transition and provide the world with enough energy, create affordable energy access for the poorest people and to stimulate economies."

The authors say coal is the main problem with the carbon intensity of the G20's energy sector overall, because of the large number of planned new coal-fired power plants. These would nearly double the bloc's coal capacity, making it almost impossible for the world to keep warming even to 2 C, let alone to 1.5 C as set out in the Paris agreement.

"If G20 countries were to rid themselves of their reliance on coal, this would significantly impact their ability to both increase their climate pledges and get their emissions trajectories on a below 2 C pathway," said Niklas Höhne, a founding partner of NewClimate Institute and special professor of mitigation of greenhouse gases at Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Good Signal

China, India, France, Germany, the U.S. and the UK are rated highest in terms of investment attractiveness in renewable energy, although the ratings of both France and Germany risk dropping.

Jan Burck, team leader on German and EU low-carbon policy at Germanwatch, said: "That China and India are rated the highest is a good signal—these are the economies where the transition will have the biggest impact on the global climate. France's reliance on nuclear is stifling the emergence of wind and solar and Germany's proposed cap on renewable energy is worrying."

Although renewable energy has increased by 18 percent since 2008, a 2 C trajectory means annual G20 country investment in the power sector alone will have to roughly double by 2035 from its 2000-2013 levels.

The report also says fossil fuel subsidies remain high—with subsidies from the group's developed countries all being far greater than the money they have committed to climate finance.

Peter Eigen, co-chair of Climate Transparency, said: "Our assessment shows China is taking more action than many countries. Climate leadership from China at the G20 Summit could help set the world on the right path to a future safe from the worst ravages of climate change."

This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Climate News Network.

Related Articles Around the Web

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Micromobility is the future of transportation in cities, but cities and investors need to plan ahead to avoid challenges. Jonny Kennaugh / Unsplash

By Carlo Ratti, Ida Auken

On the window of a bike shop in Copenhagen, a sign reads: Your next car is a bike.

Read More Show Less
An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Butterfly habitats have fallen 77 percent in the last 50 years. Pixabay / Pexels

The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Six of the nineteen wind turbines which were installed on Frodsham Marsh, near the coal-powered Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Helsby, England on Feb. 7, 2017.

Sales of electric cars are surging and the world is generating more and more power from renewable sources, but it is not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the global climate crisis, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read More Show Less
"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less