National reduction ambitions eight times too low for meeting the Paris Agreement

Kees Kerstens

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3 minutes

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Industry news

Next month the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow. In the run-up to this meeting, the Dutch environmental planning office (PBL) analyzed the Nationally Determined Contributions. NDCs contain information on targets, policies and measures for reducing national emissions and adapting to climate change, that all 191 ‘Parties to the Paris Agreement’ submitted. And what turns out… The PBL study shows us is that the NDCs from all nations combined deliver only one-eight of the emissions reduction needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. And note that the NDCs contain intended reduction measures. Not actual measures.

November 29, 2021
Image: 
Brett Jordan

The Paris Agreement states that we must limit global mean temperature increase to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to limit it to below 1.5 °C. The figure below shows global greenhouse gas emissions if we continue business as usual (grey line), for the scenario of the NDCs submitted for COP21 in Paris, and for the revised NDCs for COP26. The green line shows what’s needed in order to meet a 1.5 °C temperature rise.

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There has been some improvement compared to the previous version of the NDCs: seven G20 economies have pledged stronger GHG reduction targets. The largest contribution to the targets of the seven G20 economies come from the US, the EU27, Japan, China, the UK, Argentina and Canada. However, the emission reductions resulting from all the NDCs will still be insufficient to keep global temperature increase below 2 °C, let alone 1,5 °C. We need to be eight times more ambitious.

PBL concludes that the gap is so large that governments, the private sector and communities need to make their climate pledges more ambitious and focus on early and more stringent mitigation action.

Setting a target is an important step. Also for the private sector. However, determining your current performance in terms of GHG-emissions when starting your reduction journey, and continuously tracking progress towards your targets is equally important.

This is where Salacia comes in. Salacia fully automates the environmental impact tracking of the private sector and helps companies to reach their targets. Preferably in line with the Paris Agreement.

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