Friday, November 12, 2021

Methane, coal transition, transport and forest pledges at COP26 still leave substantial emissions gap - Climate Action Tracker

 

I'd like to say the various pledges made these last two weeks have eliminated the emissions gap, but they haven't. If they are implemented and garner more signatories they will shrink the gap. New analysis by Climate Action Tracker shows that for the countries that have signed the pledges, they have closed the 2030 emissions gap between a 1.5°C path and government targets by around 9% - or 2.2 GtCO2e.

The UN Environment Program Emissions Gap report published late October showed that the planet heading to 2.7C climate catastrophe without needed 2030 ambition at COP26

"Even with all new pledges and such sectoral initiatives for 2030, global emissions are still
expected to be almost twice as high in 2030 as necessary to for a 1.5°C compatible pathway.
Therefore, all governments need to reconsider their targets towards COP27 in 2022 to jointly
enhance mitigation ambition." says Climate Action Tracker.

The final decision of the conference is presently being worked through. There is a draft clause which  give nations that have not submitted “new or updated” 2030 targets another 12 months to “revisit and strengthen” their emissions reduction effort in their Nationally Determined contributions. 

“It is not surprising that the effect of the COP26 sectoral initiatives beyond national climate targets is initially small. These initiatives are designed for those that do NOT sign immediately. The pressure of being put on the spot will help to grow the membership of the initiatives and enhance the effect beyond national climate targets in the long run.” says  Professor Dr Niklas Höhne, NewClimate Institute, a CAT partner organisation. 

The Climate Action Tracker breaks down each major pledge on methane, coal, transport and forests and estimates the impact:

Global Methane Pledge

Likely impact: The participant countries of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) are collectively expected to deliver 0.8 GtCO2e (range of 0.6–1.1 GtCO2e, “likely impact”) of additional emissions reductions in 2030 compared to the CAT ‘pledges and targets’ scenario.

Potential impact: If all those who did not sign up to this pledge, including large methane emitters like China, India and Russia were to sign up, the additional emission reductions could be as high as 1.4–2.4 GtCO2e below the ‘pledges and targets’ scenario projections. 

Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement

Likely impact: We calculate the current signatories to the UK Presidency’s COP26 Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement will collectively deliver 0.2 GtCO2e additional emissions reductions in 2030 above the CAT ‘pledges and targets’ scenario (“likely impact”). This remains far from the required 80% reduction of global coal use in electricity generation below 2010 levels.

Potential impact: If the membership of this pact were to include all OECD countries, and those countries with the largest coal pipelines, the impact could grow to around 2 GtCO2e.

Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100% Zero Emission Cars and Vans

Likely impact: We calculate that the current signatories of the COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans are collectively expected to deliver below 0.1 GtCO2e (“likely impact”) of additional emissions reductions in 2030 compared to the CAT ‘pledges and targets’ scenario.

Potential Impact: If all government, including major automobile manufacturing countries such as Germany and the United States, were to sign up to the declaration, the additional emission reductions could be as high as 0.75 GtCO2e below ‘pledges and targets’ scenario projections (“potential impact”).

Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use

Likely impact: We calculate the more than 100 signatories to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, could deliver 1.1 GtCO2 (“likely impact”) of additional emissions reductions in 2030 compared to the CAT ‘pledges and targets’ scenario.

Potential impact: We estimate a maximum potential on top of existing commitments and targets to be about a total of around 2-3 GtCO2 if all countries were to sign up, including Indonesia, which later reversed its decision. However, the lack of progress by many signatories in keeping to previous commitments to end deforestation under the New York Declaration on Forests, brings into question how this Glasgow declaration will be converted into concrete action on the ground.

 

 References:

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