Climate Commitments Update:
Tracking the short and long-term climate goals of leading greenhouse emissions countries
Climate Scorecard is tracking the ability of leading greenhouse gas emitting countries to commit to and develop plans for achieving short-term (by 2030) and long-term (by 2050) emission reduction targets. The summary graph and detailed country profiles below will be updated on a regular basis. We also will publish a monthly update of our Country Climate Commitments and make it available to those on the Climate Scorecard mailing list, which you can join here.
Countries & Regions Represented in Each Bar
- Australia, Brazil, E.U., France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.
- E.U., United Kingdom
- E.U., United Kingdom
- Canada, E.U., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
- Germany, Spain, United Kingdom
At the beginning of March, the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee (PAIC) met to discuss its implementation goals for the COP27 that will happen in November. The focus of the committee is to discuss difficulties of implementation and to streamline and enforce the rules of the Paris Agreement. The committee drafted a rules and procedures document that would be used at the COP27 and in all aspects of the Paris Agreement going forward. They also made plans to meet again in May. The procedure document is still an informal draft and little information was publicly released about its contents. The document could have positive results for the reinforcement of the Paris Agreement goals if it can find effective measures for holding countries accountable. On the other hand, a document that is too lenient could allow countries to make promises that look good on paper and are never put into action.
In other news, the private sector is taking steps towards carbon zero at a quicker pace than the public sector. According to Climate Action 100+, an investor engagement initiative on climate change, 69% of its target companies have made carbon neutral goals for 2050. According to their benchmark report, despite this high percentage of companies committed to being carbon neutral, many of these companies have failed to take concrete actions towards accomplishing neutrality. The most disappointing finding from the report was that many companies have failed to set targets before 2050 that would prove the legitimacy of their commitments. Similar to Climate Scorecard’s analysis of many countries’ NDCs, companies are making promises and failing to deliver plans and progress towards these goals. If the world hopes to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and keep the planet from warming above 1.5 degrees celsius, both the public and the private sector must turn these promises into actual emissions reductions.
The Brazilian government continues to derail environmental protection and preservation efforts. This month, they submitted a second update to their NDC which increased their pledge from 43% to 50% emissions reduction by 2030. While seeming to increase their commitment to the Paris Agreement, they actually changed the calculation of base year emissions which makes this pledge an overall increase in total emissions allowed by 2030. The government also passed a law extending the allowance of coal-fired thermoelectric plants until 2040, a measure that works against attempts to reduce overall carbon emissions. Brazil is an example of an issue that the PAIC committee must address to ensure not only enforcement but also meaningful commitments to the Paris Agreement. To accomplish the goals of the Paris Agreement, countries must be held accountable for the amount of carbon they emit and not for empty commitments made for appearance’s sake.
Bolivia submitted its second NDC this month that ratified its previous commitments and strengthened its focus on sustainable development. Bolivia only contributes approximately 0.26% of total global carbon emissions but is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This second NDC emphasized mitigation and adaptation of renewable energy and other sustainable practices instead of focusing on overall carbon emissions levels. One of the country’s goals is to achieve renewable energy as the source for 79% of the energy used by 2030. This goal is one of their unconditional pledges but notes that international cooperation would accelerate the goal to be achieved before 2030. Another emphasis of the NDC was on sustainable forest management and many of the goals for this section focus on reducing illegal deforestation and reducing overall deforestation by 80%. Bolivia’s NDC followed all these goals with specific implementation plans and committed to transparency on its progress. While the country did not set a goal for carbon emissions reductions, Bolivia’s NDC, if followed, will have a more meaningful contribution to the Paris Agreement and to the well-being of its citizens than many other countries with a high percentage emission commitment.
Detailed information by country can be found on our scorecard page here.