You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today

We all contribute to climate change. We all must help solve it. 
Download the full report here.

 - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

Key Conclusions

An environmental and economic disaster from human-induced climate change is on the horizon.  

To achieve the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels requires reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

An analysis of current commitments to reduce emissions between 2020 and 2030 shows that almost 75 percent of the climate pledges are partially or totally insufficient to contribute to reducing GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and some of these pledges are unlikely to be achieved.

Of the 184 climate pledges, 36 were deemed sufficient (20 percent), 12 partially sufficient (6 percent), 8 partially insufficient (4 percent) and 128 insufficient (70 percent).

Because the climate pledges are voluntary, technicalities, loopholes and conditions continue to postpone decisive global action to reduce emissions and address climate change.

All countries need to reduce emissions to meet the Paris Agreement targets, although not all countries have equal responsibility because of the principle of differentiated responsibility, historical emissions, current per person emissions and the need to develop.

Emissions from the top four emitters combined account for 56 percent of global GHG emissions –China (26.8 percent), the United States (13.1 percent), the European Union and its 28 Member States (9 percent) and India (7 percent). The analysis of their pledges show that:

• China, the largest emitter, is expected to meet its pledge of “reducing its carbon intensity by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030” (or the amount of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP).

However, China’s CO2 emissions increased by 80 percent between 2005 and 2018 and are expected to continue to increase for the next decade given its projected rate of economic growth. 

• In 2015 the United States committed to reducing “GHG emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025”. However, the current administration announced the United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and has cut federal regulations meant to curb emissions. State and local efforts are being implemented to try and meet the United States pledge. These efforts are mainly focused on electricity generation and automobile emissions.

• The European Union and its 28 Member States committed to reduce GHG emissions “at least 40 percent from 1990 level” by 2030. The EU and its Member States are on track to cut GHG emissions by 58 percent by 2030.

• India’s emissions are growing rapidly. Its pledge to reduce “the emissions intensity (of all GHGs) of its GDP by 30-35 percent from 2005 level by 2030” is expected be met.

However, India’s GHG emissions increased by about 76 percent between 2005 and 2017 and, like China, are expected to continue to increase until 2030 due to economic growth. 

The Russian Federation, the fifth largest GHG emitter, has not even submitted its plan to cut emissions yet.  

From the remaining 152 pledges, 126 are partially or totally dependent on international finance, technology and capacity building for their implementation. A portion of these commitments may not be implemented because little international support has been materialized.

Thus, at least 130 nations, including 4 of the top 5 world’s largest emitters, are falling far short of contributing to meeting the 50 percent global emission reductions required by 2030 to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The impact of the shortfall are economic losses from weather events influenced by human-induced climate change escalating to at least $2 billion per day by 2030. In addition to the cost, weather events and patterns will continue to change, and will adversely affect human health, livelihoods, food, water, biodiversity and economic growth.

There are two ways in which emissions can be rapidly and drastically reduced, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which account for about 70 percent of global GHG emissions due to fossil fuels:  

• Switching electricity generation to renewables sources and away from coal.This means a five-fold increase in wind and solar energy as well as phasing out and closing 2,400 coal-fired power stations globally within the next decade, to reduce coal use by 70 percent by 2030. This is viable and cost-effective. Yet, there are 250 additional coal units under construction.  

• Improving and increasing energy efficiency can reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2040 –something we can all contribute to. Households worldwide could also save more than $500 billion dollars per year in energy bills (electricity, natural gas for heating and cooking and fuel for transportation).

Efforts must also be made to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide from land-use change, primarily deforestation in the tropics, and emissions from other GHGs, primarily methane and nitrous oxide.

Leadership is required to limit climate change and meet the Paris Agreement targets: 

Leadership from governments to make meaningful progress towards the Paris Agreement targets. Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C (3.6oF) or 1.5°C (2.7oF) above pre-industrial levels will require Governments to double or triple their current pledges within the next decade by transitioning to a low-carbon economy, reducing deforestation, and reducing emissions of other GHGs. Policy can accelerate the implementation of climate solutions.

Leadership from the private sector to do business sustainably and to drive innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth. Investments from the private sector have the potential to drive policy changes.

Leadership from individuals to continue demanding increased climate action as well as to make smarter choices in using energy more efficiently every day. Young people are leading a global mobilization demanding political action to address climate change. These young climate advocates can lead and mobilize individuals to take climate action as well.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

The Paris Agreement represents the first collective effort by all countries to address climate change.

It is an historic turning point in the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For the first time, the United States, India, China and the European Union and its Member States were all at the table, influencing other nations to join the effort.

The Paris Agreement could have been stronger. Some nations wanted a treaty. Others wanted an agreement. Some nations lobbied for longer interval between reviews of performance in meeting national commitments. Other nations wanted less intrusive verification procedures.

Even though imperfect, the Paris Agreement solidly positioned the community of nations to recognize that each could and would contribute in an evolving way to the reduction of emissions to slow the rate of global warming.

The pledges made by all countries are focused on achieving the Paris Agreement goal of holding ‘the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C (3.6oF) above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7oF) above pre-industrial levels’1.

Keeping global warming to well below 2°C (.36oF) above pre-industrial times, or even 1.5°C (2.7oF), can only be achieved by significantly and rapidly reducing emissions. About 70 percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions are from carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel2. These CO2 emissions are primarily driving the observed changes in the climate. Deforestation and other GHGs also contribute to changing the climate3.

Global average temperature has already warmed by about 1°C (1.8oF), above pre-industrial levels, and could exceed the goal of the Paris Agreement of limiting the increase to 1.5oC (2.7oF) as early as 2030 if global warming continues to increase at the current rate4.

But global warming continues to accelerate –global CO2 emissions are still on the rise, reaching yet another peak in 2017, and are anticipated to continue to increase5.

To halt the trend in increasing global emissions, and thus in global temperature increase, 195 parties to the Climate Change Convention have signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, and 187 parties have ratified it6. As of October 1st 2019, 184 parties to the Climate Change Convention have submitted their climate pledges. After the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the climate pledges were re-submitted, changing their initial denomination from ‘Intended’ to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

The climate pledges, even if fully implemented, will only cover less than half of the emission reductions needed to limit global temperature increase to 1.57.

Global GHG emissions have increased by about 20 percent in the last decade –from 44.7 GtCO2-eq (gigatons of all GHGs combined expressed as CO2 equivalent) in 2010 to 53.5 GtCO2-eq in 20178. Even if all climate pledges are fully implemented, global GHG emissions are projected to be, on average, 54 (50-58) GtCO2-eq in 20309.

Halting the increase of global GHG emissions and keeping them at the current level in 2030 may seem encouraging to some. It is just a first step. But to stay below 1.5oC (2.7oF), global GHG emissions should be, on average, 27 (25-30) GtCO2-eq in 203010.

This means that action to half emissions within the next decade need to at least double or triple and increase by five-fold to reach net zero emissions by 2050.The sooner decisive measures to reduce emissions are implemented, the most cost-effective these actions will be.

Without massive changes and active leadership in the very near future, we could be living in a 1.5oC world in about a decade.

The Climate Pledges

When the Climate Change Convention was adopted, countries were categorized into industrialized and developing (or Annex I and Non-Annex I countries).

This 1992 categorization is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which establishes that all countries are responsible for addressing global environmental degradation yet not equally responsible. This key principle acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

More than 20 years ago, industrialized countries accounted for about half of global GHG emissions. Based on the historical share of GHG emissions, only industrialized countries had to comply with emission reduction targets11.

Currently, the share of global GHG emissions has changed. Upper and lower middle-income countries currently account collectively for more than half of global GHG emissions12.

When the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, all countries made pledges to reduce emissions.

The emission reduction commitments stated in the 184 climate pledges are voluntary and not legally binding. These commitments depend on policies, technologies and practices to be adopted and implemented at the national level in each country. For some countries, the implementation of the pledges also depends on the provision of international financial or technical support, referred to as conditional pledges.

Of the 184 pledges, 127 (including India) or 69 percent are partially or totally conditional. This means that without international finance or technical support, these pledges may not be implemented.

These conditional pledges were mostly put forward by developing countries that lack the financial capability to reduce emissions as well as the technological and institutional capacity.

The conditionality of these climate pledges is based on the categorization of countries under the Climate Change Convention. However, in their latest assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has updated the categorization of countries, based on their income. Thus, some countries which are currently categorized as high-income economies13 are still considered as developing countries for the Convention.

Based on the difference in the categorization of countries between the Convention and the IPCC, some high-income countries have put forward conditional pledges that depend on international funding for its implementation.

Reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 will require a significant transformation in the way all countries generate and use energy. Some countries will need international funding to implement the required actions to change their energy generation and use in the framework of sustainable growth.

The ratification of the Paris Agreement could have been an opportunity for countries to review and increase actions to reduce emissions. However, 97 percent of the 184 climate pledges are the same as those initially submitted in 2015-2016, after the Paris Agreement was adopted. Compared to the intended commitments submitted in 2015-16, only six countries have reviewed their pledges: 4 countries increased their plan to cut emissions; 2 countries weakened their commitments:

  1. Argentina –a 20 percent increase in ambition: from a 30 percent reduction in GHG emissions, to 37 percent; about half of this pledge is conditional.
  2. Morocco –a 30 percent increase in ambition: from a 32 percent reduction in GHG emissions to 42 percent; about 60 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  3. Ecuador –revision of the target year and emission reduction target: from 30-46 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030, to 20.9 percent by 2025; almost 60 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  4. Marshall Islands (submission of their second climate pledge) –increase in ambition by including ‘at least’ to 32 percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2025 and a 45 percent by 2030. Adding ‘at least’ is consistent with the intention to overachieve the 2025 target and to try to achieve the 2030 indicative target; 100 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  5. Eritrea –a 50 percent decrease in ambition: from 80 percent of CO2 emissions to 38.5 percent; about 70 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  6. Benin –a 25 percent decrease in ambition: from 21.4 percent reduction in GHG emissions to 16 percent; more than 75 percent of this pledge is conditional.

The Paris Agreement represents the first collective effort by all countries to address climate change.

It is an historic turning point in the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For the first time, the United States, India, China and the European Union and its Member States were all at the table, influencing other nations to join the effort.

The Paris Agreement could have been stronger. Some nations wanted a treaty. Others wanted an agreement. Some nations lobbied for longer interval between reviews of performance in meeting national commitments. Other nations wanted less intrusive verification procedures.

Even though imperfect, the Paris Agreement solidly positioned the community of nations to recognize that each could and would contribute in an evolving way to the reduction of emissions to slow the rate of global warming.

The pledges made by all countries are focused on achieving the Paris Agreement goal of holding ‘the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C (3.6oF) above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7oF) above pre-industrial levels’1.

Keeping global warming to well below 2°C (.36oF) above pre-industrial times, or even 1.5°C (2.7oF), can only be achieved by significantly and rapidly reducing emissions. About 70 percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions are from carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel2. These CO2 emissions are primarily driving the observed changes in the climate. Deforestation and other GHGs also contribute to changing the climate3.

Global average temperature has already warmed by about 1°C (1.8oF), above pre-industrial levels, and could exceed the goal of the Paris Agreement of limiting the increase to 1.5oC (2.7oF) as early as 2030 if global warming continues to increase at the current rate4.

But global warming continues to accelerate –global CO2 emissions are still on the rise, reaching yet another peak in 2017, and are anticipated to continue to increase5.

To halt the trend in increasing global emissions, and thus in global temperature increase, 195 parties to the Climate Change Convention have signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, and 187 parties have ratified it6. As of October 1st 2019, 184 parties to the Climate Change Convention have submitted their climate pledges. After the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the climate pledges were re-submitted, changing their initial denomination from ‘Intended’ to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

The climate pledges, even if fully implemented, will only cover less than half of the emission reductions needed to limit global temperature increase to 1.57.

Global GHG emissions have increased by about 20 percent in the last decade –from 44.7 GtCO2-eq (gigatons of all GHGs combined expressed as CO2 equivalent) in 2010 to 53.5 GtCO2-eq in 20178. Even if all climate pledges are fully implemented, global GHG emissions are projected to be, on average, 54 (50-58) GtCO2-eq in 20309.

Halting the increase of global GHG emissions and keeping them at the current level in 2030 may seem encouraging to some. It is just a first step. But to stay below 1.5oC (2.7oF), global GHG emissions should be, on average, 27 (25-30) GtCO2-eq in 203010.

This means that action to half emissions within the next decade need to at least double or triple and increase by five-fold to reach net zero emissions by 2050.The sooner decisive measures to reduce emissions are implemented, the most cost-effective these actions will be.

Without massive changes and active leadership in the very near future, we could be living in a 1.5oC world in about a decade.

The Climate Pledges

When the Climate Change Convention was adopted, countries were categorized into industrialized and developing (or Annex I and Non-Annex I countries).

This 1992 categorization is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which establishes that all countries are responsible for addressing global environmental degradation yet not equally responsible. This key principle acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

More than 20 years ago, industrialized countries accounted for about half of global GHG emissions. Based on the historical share of GHG emissions, only industrialized countries had to comply with emission reduction targets11.

Currently, the share of global GHG emissions has changed. Upper and lower middle-income countries currently account collectively for more than half of global GHG emissions12.

When the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, all countries made pledges to reduce emissions.

The emission reduction commitments stated in the 184 climate pledges are voluntary and not legally binding. These commitments depend on policies, technologies and practices to be adopted and implemented at the national level in each country. For some countries, the implementation of the pledges also depends on the provision of international financial or technical support, referred to as conditional pledges.

Of the 184 pledges, 127 (including India) or 69 percent are partially or totally conditional. This means that without international finance or technical support, these pledges may not be implemented.

These conditional pledges were mostly put forward by developing countries that lack the financial capability to reduce emissions as well as the technological and institutional capacity.

The conditionality of these climate pledges is based on the categorization of countries under the Climate Change Convention. However, in their latest assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has updated the categorization of countries, based on their income. Thus, some countries which are currently categorized as high-income economies13 are still considered as developing countries for the Convention.

Based on the difference in the categorization of countries between the Convention and the IPCC, some high-income countries have put forward conditional pledges that depend on international funding for its implementation.

Reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 will require a significant transformation in the way all countries generate and use energy. Some countries will need international funding to implement the required actions to change their energy generation and use in the framework of sustainable growth.

The ratification of the Paris Agreement could have been an opportunity for countries to review and increase actions to reduce emissions. However, 97 percent of the 184 climate pledges are the same as those initially submitted in 2015-2016, after the Paris Agreement was adopted. Compared to the intended commitments submitted in 2015-16, only six countries have reviewed their pledges: 4 countries increased their plan to cut emissions; 2 countries weakened their commitments:

  1. Argentina –a 20 percent increase in ambition: from a 30 percent reduction in GHG emissions, to 37 percent; about half of this pledge is conditional.
  2. Morocco –a 30 percent increase in ambition: from a 32 percent reduction in GHG emissions to 42 percent; about 60 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  3. Ecuador –revision of the target year and emission reduction target: from 30-46 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030, to 20.9 percent by 2025; almost 60 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  4. Marshall Islands (submission of their second climate pledge) –increase in ambition by including ‘at least’ to 32 percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2025 and a 45 percent by 2030. Adding ‘at least’ is consistent with the intention to overachieve the 2025 target and to try to achieve the 2030 indicative target; 100 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  5. Eritrea –a 50 percent decrease in ambition: from 80 percent of CO2 emissions to 38.5 percent; about 70 percent of this pledge is conditional.
  6. Benin –a 25 percent decrease in ambition: from 21.4 percent reduction in GHG emissions to 16 percent; more than 75 percent of this pledge is conditional.

Ranking the Climate Pledges

The climate pledges are voluntary and use different metrics. Not all climate pledges actually commit to reducing emissions between 2020 and 2030. Thus, the 184 climate pledges were categorized based on their emission reduction commitments into:

Sufficient

Climate pledges with commitments equal or above 40% emission reductions. These pledges are broadly in line with the need to at least half emissions by 2030.

Partially Sufficient

Climate pledges with commitments between 20-40% emission reductions. The countries under this category need to do much better to reduce emissions.

Partially Insufficient

Based on two criteria:

  1. Pledges below 20% emission reductions show some, but insufficient, ambition to address climate change.
  2. Pledges with conditional commitments where the country is implementing more than 50% of the pledge from their own resources (or 50% conditional). It shows some effort from the country to reduce emissions.
Insufficient

Based on four criteria:

  1. Pledges with no emission reduction targets, which cannot be quantified or measured.
  2. Pledges with commitments that rely more than 50% on international financial support show minimal effort from the country to reduce emissions.
  3. Pledges with intensity targets. These commitments focus on emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This metric is measured in CO2 or GHG emissions per $1000 dollar GDP. These pledges mostly equal an increase in emissions until 2030 above the current level due to economic growth outstripping the rate of decrease in carbon/GHG intensity.
  4. Pledges using business as usual (BAU) targets. These pledges are based on emission reductions below a projected level of future emissions in 2030 if no actions or policies are implemented. These commitments mostly equal an increase in emission in 2030 above the latest level of emissions reported by each country.

The result of this categorization is that 26 percent of the 184 climate pledges are partially or totally sufficient and 74 percent are totally or partially insufficient to reduce global emissions by 50 percent by 2030 (Figure 1).

 

 
See the interactive map with the ranking of the climate pledges

The emission reduction commitments stated in the 184 climate pledges under each category are detailed here.

The need to at least double or triple the efforts to reduce emissions require a closer analysis of the pledges from the top emitters –China, the United States, the European Union (and its 28 Member States) and India. Emissions from these countries combined account for 56 percent of global GHG emissions, and 60 percent of global CO2 emissions14 (Figure 2).

China

China is the second largest economy in the world. From 1990 to 2010, the average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate has been 10 percent a year. Since 2010, the GDP growth rate has slightly declined, to an annual average of 8 percent. This is four times more than the GDP growth rates of the United States and the European Union.

Because China’s emissions are linked to its economic growth, China has become  the largest emitter of GHGs and CO2 in the world, currently accounting for about 27 and 29 percent respectively15. However, historically China’s emissions were much lower than most industrialized countries. Since 1990 and due to the rapid expansion of China’s economy, its carbon emissions per person have increased fourfold, reaching 8 tons of CO2 per person a year in 2018. However, this is still less than half of a person’s emissions in the United States or Canada, but more than a person’s emissions in the United Kingdom and France16.

China made an unconditional climate pledge that includes four targets:

  1. To reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent from 2005 level.

In their pledge, China states that CO2 emissions per unit of GDP have been lowered by 33.8 percent from 2005 level in 2014. Using two datasets17, the decrease is between 26.2 and 27.1 percent reduction in China’s carbon intensity from 2005 to 2014. A reason for this discrepancy may be that the unit used for this calculation is not specified in China’s pledge. Despite this systemic difference, China has reduced its carbon intensity since 2005. China may reach their carbon intensity target of 60-65 percent reduction before 2030.

However, China’s CO2 emissions have increased by 80 percent from 6.3 GtCO2 in 2005 to 11.3 GtCO2 in 201818.

China’s pledge is indeed encouraging, but it will not result in a decrease in CO2 emissions below current levels. Thus, China’s pledge was deemed insufficient to contribute to reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

2. To peak CO2 emissions around 2030, making best efforts to peak earlier.

China’s pledge is to reduce its carbon intensity, but this reduction will not stop the increasing trend in CO2 emissions for at least one more decade. In fact, China’s emissions are expected to increase until 2030 due its projected rate of economic growth.

3. To increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent.

More than 85 percent of the primary energy in China is currently produced by fossil fuels. Coal accounts for 60 percent of the total primary energy generation. In 2017, non-fossil sources accounted for 14 percent of China’s primary energy –2 percent nuclear, 8 percent hydroelectric and 4 percent renewables19. In addition to producing and providing renewable technology for most of the world, China’s domestic use of renewables has significantly increased, by more than six-fold since 2010. This trend is continuing, with a 30 percent increase of wind and solar power in 201720.

The target of increasing the share of non-fossil energy to 20 percent could be reached by 2030 by continuing to increase renewables at the current rate, without additional efforts. However, the expansion of renewables cannot compensate the lack of action to reduce China’s coal consumption and, thus, increasing CO2 emissions.

4. To increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters from 2005 levels

In their pledge, China states that by 2014 the forest stock volume had increased by 2.188 billion cubic meters compared to 2005 levels –or about half of the pledge’s target. The forested area surface has been increased by 21.6 million hectares. This surface is comparable to about half of the surface of California or about a third of France. Such increase in the forest stock volume would store about two percent of China’s current CO2 emissions (about 200 MtCO2 per year). An additional two-fold increase in the forest stock volume by 2030 means that China would store about four percent of current CO2 emissions.

United States

The United States is the largest economy in the world, with an average GDP growth rate of two percent a year since 2000. It is the second largest GHGs and CO2 emitter in the world, accounting for about 13 and 14 percent respectively21. Historically the United States has been the largest emitter in the world.

 Its CO2 emissions per person are among the highest globally, despite the transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-driven economy. The current carbon emissions per person are 16 tons of CO2 per year. That means that every person in the United States emits double what a person in Malaysia, or four times what a person in Mexico does22.

In 2015, and for the first time, the United States committed to reducing “GHG emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025”. In 2017, however, the current administration announced the United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement23. In addition, key federal regulations that would enable the United States to meet its pledge have been recently suspended, revised or rescinded.

Most importantly, the Clean Power Plan has been repealed. It set the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants in the United States, giving States flexible, cost-effective tools to cut CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

While the original pledge would have been deemed partially sufficient to assist in reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2030, because of the reversal in federal policy since 2017, the United States’ pledge was deemed insufficient.

Offsetting the reversal in federal policy, states across the U.S. are leading the renewable energy transition. For example, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas are generating about than 30 percent of their electricity from wind; California, Hawaii and Vermont are generating about 10 percent from solar24. Cities are also transitioning to renewable sources of energy. More than 130 cities committed to 100 percent renewable electricity, and six small cities have already achieved the target –Aspen, CO (population: 7,500); Burlington, VT (population: 42,000); Georgetown, TX (population: 50,000); Greensburg, KS (population: 778); Rock Port, MO (population: 1,200) and Kodiak Island, AK (population: 6,000)25.

Some of these commitments are being implemented under the America’s Pledge initiative26. The analysis of these commitments estimates that the United States could reduce emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 202527. In addition, other initiatives and campaigns are focused on retiring coal-fired power plants. More than half of the 530 coal-fired power plants in the United States have been retired or are proposed to be retired by 203028.

These State and local initiatives and campaigns are indeed critical steps in the right direction.

In addition, almost half of the States have also been implementing fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions standards for cars and light trucks. These fuel efficiency standards would have almost doubled the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025 while saving families and businesses nearly $2 trillion over the lives of vehicles. New and amended nationwide standards have been recently proposed for vehicles model year 2021 to 2026. Most importantly, the proposed amended standards would further increase emissions from the transportation sector, currently accounting for the majority of CO2 emissions, with almost 40 percent29.

For the last two decades, the U.S. has been and still is producing 80 percent of its energy (for electricity, heating and transportation) from fossil fuels.

Until the share of fossil fuel use in the United States energy mix is significantly reduced, State and local efforts will not compensate for the lack of decisive federal action to reduce emissions.

European Union

Including some of the richest economies in the world, the European Union (28 nations) is the third largest GHGs and CO2 emitter in the world, accounting for nine and ten percent respectively30.

While sustaining its economic growth, at an annual average GDP growth rate of two percent, the EU has already reduced its GHG emissions in 2017 by about 17 percent from 1990 levels31. CO2 emissions decreased by about 22 percent compared to 1990 in 2018. Some European Union Member States, however, are still dependent on fossil fuels for their electricity and heat generation.

The largest CO2 contributors within the European Union in 2018 were Germany (22 percent), the United Kingdom (10.7 percent), Italy (10 percent), Poland (9.6 percent) and France (9.3 percent)32. CO2 emissions per person in some European Union countries are relatively high. Currently, a person in The Netherlands emits 9.5 tons of CO2 per year, 9.1 in Germany, 8.8 in Finland and in Poland, and 5.6 in the United Kingdom. On average, a person in the European Union emits 6.8 tons of CO2 per year or almost three times what a person in Brazil emits33.

The EU and its 28 Member States put forward a legally binding climate pledge to reduce GHG emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 level by 2030.

To meet this target, the EU has adopted a large package of measures in 2018 aimed at accelerating the reduction of GHG emissions, including national coal phase-out plans, increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and legally binding annual emission limits for each Member State in the transportation, buildings, agriculture and waste management sectors34.

These combined measures and policies are expected to result in GHG emission reductions of 58 percent by 203035, exceeding the emission reduction commitment in the pledge. Thus, the European Union’s pledge was deemed sufficient.

India

India is the seventh largest economy in the world, with an average GDP growth rate of seven percent a year since 2000. It is the fourth largest GHGs and CO2 emitter in the world, accounting for about 7 percent each respectively36. India’s CO2 emissions per person have doubled since 1990, but its historical emissions were very low, and current emissions are significantly lower than most industrialized countries. Currently, a person in India emits less than 2 tons of CO2 per year, which is less than half of what a person in Sweden or a third of what a person in Italy emits37.

Its climate pledge includes three targets:

  1. To unconditionally reduce the emission intensity (of all GHGs) of its GDP by 30-35 percent from 2005 level by 2030.

India states that it has already reduced the emission intensity by 12 percent from 2005 level to 201038 and by 21 percent over the 2005-2014 period39. These reductions have been calculated using GDP at constant 2004-2005 prices (in Rupees), and do not include emissions from agriculture. Using 2011-2012 prices (in Rupees), the reduction percentage is lower40. Using a global dataset in US dollars, India has reduced the GHG emission intensity of its GDP by about 18 percent from 2005 level in 201541.Despite the differences in the GDP unit used, India has reduced the emissions intensity of its GDP. By just implementing policies already in place, India is likely to achieve a 30-35 percent reduction by 2030 and may even overachieve it42.

However, India’s GHG emissions have increased by about 76 percent between 2005 and 2017, and are expected to continue to increase due to economic growth. Its CO2 emissions have more than doubled over the period 2005-2018 –from 1.2 GtCO2 in 2005 to 2.6 GtCO2 in 201843.

India’s commitment to reduce its emissions intensity is indeed encouraging, but it will not result in a decrease in GHG emissions below current levels. Thus, India’s pledge was deemed insufficient to contribute to reducing global emissions by 50 percent in 2030.

  1. To conditionally achieve 40 percent of non-fossil fuels electric power installed capacity.

India has increased its installed electricity generation capacity by three-fold since 2005, with 57 percent of its generation still dependent on coal44. The share of non-fossil fuels electric power capacity has increased as well –from 30 percent in 2005 to 35 percent in 2018 of which 20 percent are renewables45. Thus, by continuing this increasing trend, India could achieve a 40 percent non-fossil-based power capacity earlier than 2030.

Although renewables are becoming more cost-effective than coal-fired power plants in India, the expansion of non-fossil fuels electric power may not compensate the lack of action to reduce the share of electricity generated by coal.

  1. To unconditionally create an additional cumulative carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2e through additional forest and tree cover.

India forest cover totals about 24 percent of its geographical area. Since 2015, the annual increase of the carbon stock has been 71.5 MtCO2-eq (metric tons of all GHGs combined)46. The target of creating an additional cumulative carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2-eq represents an average annual carbon sink of 167–200 MtCO2e over the period 2016–203047. Thus, to reach the target in the climate pledge, India would have to more than double its current rate of forest cover expansion.

The remaining 152 climate pledges

The remaining 152 climate pledges account for 32.5 percent of global GHG emissions, and 40 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Based on their emission reduction commitments, these 152 pledges are ranked as:

Sufficient

Besides the European Union and its 28 Member States, seven countries put forward unconditional pledges with emission reductions equal or above 40 percent. These pledges were deemed as sufficient. These are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine. The Republic of Moldova pledged to unconditionally reduce GHG emissions by 64-67 percent below 1990 level, and an additional 11-14 percent conditionally. Because 80 percent of the pledge is independent of international assistance, this pledge is also deemed sufficient.

Partially Sufficient

Twelve pledges were deemed partially sufficient. Emission reduction commitments from these countries range from 20-40 percent. These countries include some of the largest emitters in the world, and need to do much better to reduce emissions. These are Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Israel, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and San Marino.

Japan and Brazil are the sixth and seventh largest GHGs emitters48. Their share of global GHG emissions is 3 and 2.3 percent respectively.

Japan committed to reduce “GHG emissions by 26 percent below 2013 levels by 2030”, which may be met. Among other measures, Japan adopted a 22–24 percent renewable electricity target by 2030. Currently, renewables account for 17 percent of Japan’s electricity, with a rapid growth of 50 percent since 201049. However, Japan is still dependent on fossil fuels for 81 percent of its electricity and 88 percent of its primary energy50. These percentages need to be significantly reduced.

Brazil committed to reduce “GHG emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030”. This climate pledge, however, was put forward by the previous administration. The current one, which took office last January, reversed key environmental and climate change-related policies and measures. This political reversal jeopardizes Brazil’s chances of meeting its climate pledge. Furthermore, deforestation in Amazonia as well as destruction of other ecosystems has accelerated the reduction of carbon sinks, impacting regional climate.

The Republic of Korea pledged to reduce “GHG emissions by 37 percent below business as usual in 2030”. By using their business as usual projection for 2030 and their latest reported level of GHG emissions, the Korean pledge equals a 22 percent GHGs reduction below 2014 level in 2030.

Partially Insufficient

Of the remaining 133 pledges, 8 were ranked as partially insufficient. The pledges included in this category are:

1. Pledges below 20 percent emission reductions. Commitments from these countries show limited ambition to address climate change. These are Albania, Jamaica and Serbia. Also included in this category is Trinidad and Tobago, a high-income country.

2. Pledges with conditional commitments where the country is implementing more than 50 percent of the pledge from their own resources. These pledges show some effort from the country to reduce emissions. The four countries under this category are Cook Islands, Kazakhstan, Micronesia and Solomon Islands.

 
Insufficient

The rest of the climate pledges, totaling 125, were ranked as insufficient. The pledges in this category include:

  1. Pledges with no emission reduction target. These 36 pledges cannot be quantified or measured. These include 30 pledges from Armenia, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Eswatini, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arabic Republic, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Turkmenistan.

In addition, this category includes six high-income countries that lack emission reduction targets in their pledges. These are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have the highest CO2 emissions per person in the world, with 38, 23.9, 22.4 and 21.8 tons of CO2 per person respectively. On average, that is about 50 percent higher than the United States and three times more than in Germany51.

  1. Pledges with commitments that rely more than 50 percent on international funding for their implementation. Many of these countries have limited capacity to reduce their emissions and are reliant on financial and technical assistance, which may not materialize. These pledges, especially for the upper middle income countries, show minimal effort from the country to reduce emissions. Among this category, 27 pledges made commitments ranging from 50-90% conditional. These are: Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Eritrea, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Togo and Viet Nam. Of these pledges, 33 percent are from upper middle-income countries, 30 percent from lower middle-income countries and 37 percent from low income countries.

In addition, 38 pledges are 100 percent conditional to international support for their full implementation. These are: Afghanistan,  Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo (Republic of), Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mongolia, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, State of Palestine, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Of these pledges, 30 percent are from upper middle-income countries, 32 percent from lower middle-income countries and 26 percent from low income countries.

Five high-income countries also made totally conditional pledges: Bahamas, Barbados, Oman, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Seychelles.

  1. Pledges with intensity targets. As with China and India, climate pledges based on intensity targets mostly equal an increase in emissions in 2030 above the current level. These six pledges using intensity targets are: Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, and three high income countries –Chile, Singapore and Uruguay.

5. Pledges using business as usual (BAU) targets, as well as partially conditional using more than 50 percent of their own resources. These pledges are based on emission reductions below a projected level of future emissions in 2030 if no actions or policies are implemented. Thus, these commitments mostly equal an increase in emission in 2030 above the latest level of emissions reported by each country.

There are 13 pledges under this group.

For example, Indonesia, the eighth largest global emitter, pledged to unconditionally “reduce GHG emissions by 29 percent below business as usual” by 2030, and an additional 12 percent conditionally. By using their business as usual projection for 2030 and their latest reported level of GHG emissions, the Indonesian pledge equals a 40 percent GHG increase above 2016 level in 203052.

The 12 additional countries using the same BAU target, which increases emissions by 2030, are: Andorra, Argentina, Colombia, Djibouti, Georgia, Mexico, North Macedonia, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Thailand.

Countries with no pledges

Thirteen countries have not yet submitted their climate pledges. These are Angola, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyz Republic, Libya, Lebanon, Philippines, Russia Federation, Senegal, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen.

All of these countries have signed the Paris Agreement. Brunei Darussalam, Philippines and Senegal have also ratified it and are revising their initial commitments before they become their climate pledges. The rest of the countries are still in the ratification process of the Paris Agreement.

Emissions from these countries combined account for about 9 percent of global GHG emissions. Of particular importance among these countries is the Russian Federation –the fifth largest global GHG emitter, contributing 4.6 percent of global GHG emissions53.

The price  

As long as global emissions are not rapidly reduced, global warming will continue to accelerate. This means that we could be living in 1.5oC world as early as the 2030s54. As a result, weather events and patterns will continue to change, and will adversely affect human health, livelihoods, food, water, biodiversity and economic growth.

Weather events are the result of natural factors. A warming climate has altered the intensity and frequency of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and severe storms (or heavy precipitation) and hurricanes –both of which lead to flooding55. Once-a-century severe weather events are now becoming the new norm.

These weather events influenced by human-induced climate change are becoming more frequent and intense. They are also becoming more costly.

Economic losses and damages from 690 weather events were $330 billion dollars globally in 2017. These figures have almost doubled in number and in losses compared to 2005, when 347 weather events caused $274 billion dollars in economic losses worldwide –almost half of the economic losses were caused by Hurricane Katrina in the United States56.

Because global warming is accelerating, the number and economic losses from weather events are projected to at least double again by 2030. That comes to $660 billion dollars a year or almost $2 billion a day within the next decade.

The world cannot afford these costs on lives, livelihoods and economic growth. This massive price tag is part of the cost of inaction.

Limiting climate change

Limiting climate change requires rapidly reducing emissions. For more than two decades, climate scientists have reiterated the same message. Yet, emissions continued to increase.

Today, fossil fuels provide 81 percent of the world’s primary energy57 and the CO2 released with their use is responsible for 70 percent of the observed warming58. The climate pledges are indeed a critical first step to reduce emissions; but will only address less than half of emission reductions needed59, if fully implemented.

There are two ways in which CO2 emissions can be rapidly reduced to double climate action. 

One of the fastest ways to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions is to shift electricity generation. Currently, 38 percent of electricity in the world is generated by burning coal and 26 percent by oil and gas. That totals 64 percent of global electricity being generated by fossil fuels, while about 7 percent by solar and wind60.  

To drastically reduce CO2 emissions in the next decade, a 70 percent reduction in coal use for electricity generation will be necessary as well as a five-fold increase in wind and solar energy61. Yet, about 60 percent of the world’s primary energy will still be dependent on fossil fuels (mainly natural gas and oil) to power, heat and fuel the world in 203062.

The implementation of the current pledges is far from the necessary reduction in coal use and promotion of renewable energy targets needed to limit human-induced climate change.

Worldwide, there are more than 2,400 coal-fired power stations63. Phasing out and closing these coal-fired power plants within the next decade is essential to reducing CO2 emissions. This option is viable, cost-effective and certainly doable. However, due to the misconception that breaking the dependency on coal may hinder economic growth, vested interests, short-sightedness, bad economics and even denial make this option unlikely to be implemented within the next decade. In fact, 250 additional coal-fired power stations are currently under construction64.

Another way to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions is by improving and increasing energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is one of the key ways the world can meet energy demand with lower energy use. Improving and increasing energy efficiency could achieve more than 40 percent of CO2 emission reductions by 204065.

Using energy more efficiently is something each one of us can do. It can result in emission reductions as well as significant savings in energy bills (electricity, natural gas and fuel). Households worldwide could save more than $500 billion dollars by 2040 by adopting energy efficiency measures that are available today, for example, better insulation, choices of glass, ‘green’ roofs, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) choices. Each dollar spent to make vehicles, buildings, appliances and equipment more efficient pays back, on average, by a factor of three through lower energy bills66

Solving climate change requires leadership. It also requires the collective effort of all of us.

Leadership from governments

Despite the climate pledges, the policies under implementation and those to be adopted, tax credits for renewable electricity, carbon pricing and other measures, national governments need to at least double or triple actions to reduce emissions in the next decade. The next round of new or updated climate pledges is expected to be submitted by 202067.

World leaders also have the opportunity to show their climate leadership by adopting and implementing additional policies to reduce emissions and to use energy more efficiently. Policy can accelerate the implementation of climate solutions.

Stronger leadership is needed to sustain the call for increased climate action, nationally and globally, to meet the Paris Agreement targets. Since the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement in 2017, a number of other countries appear to be paying little or no attention to the urgent need to reduce emissions. A few world leaders remain strong advocates of the Paris Agreement, and they need to lead other nations to honor and increase their commitments.

Leadership from the private sector

The burden of addressing climate change cannot be left to governments alone. Business leaders can be climate leaders. Some have already shown their leadership –about 200 major companies committed to sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity by 205068. For these companies, climate action is a sustainable way of doing business and a driver of innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth. This private sector leadership can also have an influential role –investments from businesses also have the potential to drive policy changes.

Leadership from individuals

Individuals can be climate leaders too. Communities, both as citizens and consumers, can make a major difference through their coordinated actions. It will only require smarter choices.

We need a paradigm shift in our current culture. Individuals can:

  • Choose to demand increased climate action from governments –a necessary and critical element to put pressure on governments for climate leadership and smarter choices. After all, Heads of State have the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of millions of people in their countries;
  • Choose to purchase goods and service from businesses that are choosing a sustainable business model over profit;
  • Contribute to reducing emissions by using energy more efficiently in our homes, where we work or study, in how we travel, in what we purchase, in what we eat.

Individuals in some countries can have a higher impact in reducing emissions than others, based on their CO2 emissions per person69 (Figure 3).

Countries where individuals can have the highest impact in reducing emissions, ordered by their CO2 emission per person, are Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Brunei Darussalam, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, United States, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Canada, Estonia, Palau, Oman, Turkmenistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Iceland, Czechia, Bermuda, Mongolia, Germany, Netherlands and Japan.

Impact from individual actions to reduce emissions will be also high in Belgium, Poland, Norway, Libya, Ireland, Finland, Iran, Malaysia, South Africa, Niue, Austria, Israel, New Zealand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, China, Bulgaria, Greece, Andorra, Slovakia, Bahamas, Belarus, Seychelles, Cyprus, Spain, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey, Antigua and Barbuda, France, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, Hungary, Serbia and Iraq.

Young people in many of these countries are leading a global mobilization demanding political action to address climate change. These young climate advocates can lead and mobilize individuals to take climate action as well.

Each one of us can be a climate leader.

We all contribute to climate change. We can all help solve it.

 

Sources and references:

1. Paris Agreement, Article 2 (2015) 

2. UNEP (2018). The Emissions Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Atlas, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research 

3. Other GHGs are methane and nitrous oxide 

4. Universal Ecological Fund: The Truth About Climate Change (2016), IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2018)

5. Global Carbon Project, 2018 

6. Status of ratification of the Paris Agreement 

7. IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2018) 

8. Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research, UNEP (2018). The Emissions Gap Report 2018 

9. IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC (2018) 

10. IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC (2018) 

11. Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries committed to emission reductions: 5% below 1990 level between 2008-2012 and  18% below 1990 level between 2013-2020 

12. IPCC, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), Working Group III, Chapter 1 (2014) 

13. The 2014 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) analyzed global GHG emissions categorizing countries based on their income, into high-income, upper-middle income, lower-middle income and low-income countries. This categorization is based on the World Bank’s categorization of countries by income.

14. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Project 

15. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Project 2018
16. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person
17. International Energy Agency; Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research
18. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries, 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union
19. BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2019
20. Fossil CO2 emissions of all world countries, 2019 Report
21. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Project
22. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person
23. Due to a provision in the Paris Agreement, the earliest date for the U.S. to completely withdraw from the agreement is November 4, 2020. Until then, the U.S. climate pledge stands
24. Clean Edge, Inc.: 2017 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index: State Index
25. https://www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100/commitments
26. America’s Pledge is an initiative led by former mayor Michael Bloomberg and former governor Jerry Brown, uniting commitments made by 17 states, more than 450 cities, businesses and academic institutions: www.americaspledgeonclimate.com
27. America’s Pledge Initiative on Climate (2018) “Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities, and Business Are Leading the United States to a Low-Carbon Future.”
28. https://content.sierraclub.org/coal/coal-plant-map
29. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (2019)
30. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Project
31. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research, based on the EU commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and its Cancun pledge
32. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union
33. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person
34. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018
35. Climate Action Tracker
36. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Project
37. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person
38. India’s First Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (2015)
39. India’s Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (2018)
40. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India (Press Note on National Account Statistics, Nov. 2018)
41. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries, 2019 Report, Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research
42. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018
43. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries, 2019 Report, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research
44. India’s Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (2018)
45. India’s Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (2018)
46. India’s Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (2018)
47. Climate Action Tracker
48. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018
49. Electricity generation by fuel – Japan: IEA Electricity Information 2018
50.Electricity generation by fuel – Japan: IEA Electricity Information 2018, BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2019
51. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person
52. Indonesia’s NDC (2016) and Biennial Update Report (2018)
53. UNEP, The Emission Gap Report 2018 

54. Universal Ecological Fund: The Truth About Climate Change (2016), IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2018) 
55. Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (2015); Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2016) 
56. NatCatService, Munich RE: https://natcatservice.munichre.com/ 
57. International Energy Agency: IEA World Energy Balances 2018 
58. UNEP (2018). The Emissions Gap Report 2018, Global Carbon Atlas, Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research 
59. IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2018) 
60. International Energy Agency: Electricity generation mix, 2018
61. IPCC: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2018), IAMC 1.5°C Scenario Explorer: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) 
62. IAMC 1.5°C Scenario Explorer: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) 
63. Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker: Number of Coal-fired power stations by county (July 2019) 
64. Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker: Number of Coal-fired power stations by county (July 2019) 
65. IEA Energy Efficiency 2018 report 
66. IEA Energy Efficiency 2018 report 
67. Paris Agreement, Article 4.9 
68. https://there100.org/ 
69. Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all world countries – 2019 Report, Publications Office of the European Union; Global Carbon Atlas, CO2 emissions per person 

 

The Authors

About this Report

Ranking of the 184 climate pledges

Map and emission reduction commitments in the 184 pledges

Impact of individual climate action by country

Map of individual climate action