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
  1. Australia, Brazil, E.U., France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.
  2. E.U., United Kingdom
  3. E.U., United Kingdom
  4. Canada, E.U., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
  5. Germany, Spain, United Kingdom

May 2022:

This month, Côte d’Ivoire updated its NDC and committed to an unconditional reduction of 30.41% of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared to a 2012 base year scenario. On the other hand, the country’s conditional reduction goal is a 98.95% reduction by 2030 relative to the 2012 emissions levels. This conditional goal is the country’s first step towards carbon neutrality by 2030 but is highly dependent on international financial support. The updated report estimated that the cost of implementing these plans would be approximately $22 billion dollars, a third of the country’s current GDP in one year. Despite the heavy financial burden, the country has shown through this comprehensive update that they are serious about participating in international climate change mitigation. Overall, the updated NDC significantly strengthened its carbon reduction commitments, targets for each sector, and adaptation plan. 

In contrast, Guatemala’s updated NDC shows a weaker commitment to international climate change efforts. The NDC expanded on adaptation goals, sectoral targets, and human development goals, but did not increase the unconditional carbon emissions reduction target. The unconditional commitment remains an 11.2% reduction by 2030 compared to the base year of 2016. The country has also committed to a conditional goal of 22.6% by 2030, although the updated NDC did not state specific financial needs in order to reach this goal. Guatemala and Côte d’Ivoire have similar Gross Domestic Products and populations. From a financial standpoint, this means they should have similar capabilities to mitigate climate change and transition to a greener economy. Furthermore, they have similar carbon dioxide emissions levels and, therefore, contribute to climate change equally. Thus, the disparity in their responses to climate change is likely due to political and social reasons within the countries. 

In other news, Finland’s Ministry of Environment officially announced that the country plans on achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2035. This is 15 years earlier than their commitment through the EU’s collective NDC. They have published plans and budgets that set them on the path to achieving this goal. According to their Minister of Environment, the war in Ukraine is one factor that sped up their green energy transition. This could allow Finland to become an example for other countries that are oil-dependent on Russia’s reserves. If successful, Finland would be the first European country to accomplish a carbon-neutral society. Beyond carbon neutrality, Finland has set a goal of being carbon-negative by 2040, which would offset carbon emissions from other countries. While they currently refuse to use international carbon offsets as a tactic to achieve carbon neutrality, carbon negativity would be a huge advantage in the carbon offset market. 

Notably, the NDC registry’s website has changed and no longer allows users access to previous versions of the country’s NDCs. The registry is now officially linked to Climate Watch’s NDC tracker, according to a recently published World Bank article. Climate Watch’s website breaks down each country’s NDC into summaries and categories. It also allows access to previous versions of NDCs, which used to be accessed through the NDC registry website. While this format is easy to navigate, the site is more difficult to find and there is no link from the registry to Climate Watch. Furthermore, the summary of the NDC jumps out at users before they can read the original NDC paper. Overall, these changes risk being less accessible, especially to non-English speakers. The intention behind these changes is also unclear. Is the INFCC  attempting to shift focus on updates to the Paris Agreement, or, are they attempting to hide countries that have not updated their NDCs?

Detailed information by country can be found on our scorecard page here.


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