Climate pledges are slipping, and a chaotic future looks closer to reality

Last year global Glasgow climate summit, Countries have pledged to redouble their efforts to reduce emissions from burning oil, gas and coal that are dangerously heating the planet. They also agreed to increase funding for technologies to help developing economies switch from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

The UN report analyzed the commitments countries have made to reduce their emissions, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, which signed the 2015 Paris Agreement promising to update and strengthen their commitments every five years. The 2020 meeting has been postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis, countries agreed not to wait another five years and instead pledged to make new commitments before climate talks begin on November 7 in Egypt.

Taryn Fransen, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, a research organization, described the current trajectory of global temperature increase as “dangerously high.”

China, which is currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is one of the countries rejecting new commitments, although it made a new pledge ahead of last year’s summit in Scotland. China has said carbon dioxide emissions will continue to grow until they peak by 2030, but has not set targets for reducing other greenhouse gases, such as methane, which it emits in large enough amounts to equal the total emissions of smaller countries.

Last year, China said it would stop building coal-fired power plants abroad. As of August, 26 of 104 such projects have been suspended, preventing 85 million tons of carbon dioxide from being added to the atmosphere each year, according to the Energy and Clean Air Research Center.

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An analysis by the World Resources Institute found that current promises by countries would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by about 7 percent from 2019 levels, although six times that, a 43 percent reduction, would be necessary to curb global warming. to 1.5 degrees Celsius. .

Among the major economies, we have seen a few countries update this year. India has formalized its obligations; Australia modernized their government when they formed a new one; “Indonesia has followed suit,” said Ms. Francine of the World Resources Institute. “But each of these countries has failed to update their NDCs thus far, so they are making up for lost time.”

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