Ahead of the climate talks in Bonn starting today, 6th June, the Climate Action Tracker in a published analysis has disclosed that no new actions have been undertaken by governments since the completion of the Glasgow climate conference of parties in November 2021.
According to findings by the two scientific research organizations that publish the periodical analysis, despite the clear warning on the extreme dangers of exceeding 1.5°C warming from the IPCC, progress on new, more ambitious 2030 climate targets and participation in sectoral initiatives have stalled since COP26 in Glasgow. This goes against the clear agreement of the Glasgow Pact to update national 2030 climate targets in 2022.
In a press statement published by the group, without increased government action, the world will still emit twice the greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 than is allowed under the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement. And with current policies holding sway, the world is heading to a warming of 2.4°C with 2030 targets and even higher, 2.7°C.
Decrying this state of affairs, with this looming emissions gap in 2030, it is important that all governments revisit and strengthen their climate targets. It is not enough for them to make marginal or no improvements.
Moreover, If the EU, the USA and China were to increase their NDC values by 5 to 10 percentage points, this would only narrow the 17–20 GtCOe gap by a further 3–4 GtCOe or around 20%. The EU is the primary candidate for being the first large country to update its NDC, as the agreement to increase the renewable target would lead to overachievement of its NDCs.
To put all these in perspective;
- Even the upcoming COP27 host, Egypt, has yet to submit an NDC update. Its first NDC did not contain a quantifiable target and the CAT rates its climate action as “Highly insufficient”. Egypt would need to roughly stabilise emissions at today’s levels to meet its fair share contribution and to cut emissions
by around 25% below today’s levels by 2030 (with international support) to limit warming to 1.5°C.
- Qatar is the only major country to join the Global Methane Pledge since the COP.3 Large methane emitters like China, India and Russia have yet to join.
- After the flurry of activity around the COP, no countries have joined the coal exit nor the 100% EV declaration in 2022. Australia’s new government should consider joining this initiative and needs to develop a coal phase out plan. Major automobile manufacturing countries such as Germany, Japan, the United States, China, or France are still missing.
- A recent G7 ministerial communique, failed to adopt a hard deadline for 100% EV sales, but did commit to achieving a ‘highly decarbonised road sector by 2030’. G7 Leaders should adopt clear EV targets when they meet at the end of June.
- The commitment made by a coalition of countries and development banks at COP26 to stop financing fossil fuel infrastructure abroad has been weakened, due to the pressure after the illegal invasion of Russia in Ukraine to find alternative suppliers of natural gas. For example, Germany is considering supporting Senegal in developing LNG infrastructure, which, if implemented, would undermine the initiative
Analysts have weighed in on these circumstances, lamenting the possibility of a reversal of gains made in yesteryears due to inability of governments to build on those gains and the outputs from Glasgow 2021
“The world appears to be sleepwalking to disaster. Governments appear to think taking more action is too hard. What will be more difficult is dealing with a three degree world. Already this year we’ve seen horrific impacts, like the heatwave in India and Pakistan, and floods in the same region. This is just the beginning.” Says Bill Hare, CEO, Climate Analytics.
And for Niklas Höhne, NewClimate Institute, “We need to see action, whether it’s signing up to the sectoral initiatives released in Glasgow, or ramping up renewables. The EU could take the lead as it’s already set to overachieve its renewables targets. It would be good to see at least one big emitter step up and take a lead now to bring others along.”