Global Spotlight Report #41: Leading Obstacles to Emissions Reduction

Introduction

Post 41 identifies the biggest obstacles faced by leading greenhouse gas emitting countries in combating climate change and reaching Climate Scorecard’s two country climate commitment goals: (1) reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and (2) becoming carbon neutral by 2050. In the last report we described how most countries are lagging behind these goals, and in this report we’re explaining why this is so.

The following summary table highlights the major obstacles towards emission reduction each country faces as identified by our Country Managers. There are several major themes that cut across countries, such as the lack of accountability for climate change policies, the lack of specific implementation measures to accompany climate policies, continuing conflict between economic development and climate change goals, and continued reliance on fossil fuels.

These major barriers impede the progress of individual countries and the global community in addressing the ever more urgent challenges of global warming. They also limit efforts to strengthen the Paris Climate Agreement that has been signed by 196 nations.

Detailed Country Reports are provided below.


Country Reports

Minimum Public Awareness of Positives of Climate Action in Australia

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Australia Country Manager Julian Atchison As detailed in our last post, Australia’s emission reduction efforts are not producing the necessary results. Emissions from industry, transport and from the gas extraction/processing industry are rising fast enough to offset cuts in the electricity sector. And, there is the nagging issue…

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Government Attitude Towards Environmental Regulation in Brazil

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Brazil Country Manager Elis Valeria Anginski CotoskyAs already mentioned in the previous Climate Scorecard post, Brazil has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 43% by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. However, the country is currently going in the opposite direction, with a recent increase in overall…

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Increased Oil and Gas Production in Canada

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Canada Country Manager Diane Szoller The biggest obstacle impacting 2030 and 2050 targets is increased oil and gas production/expansion of exports. In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) were relatively unchanged at 730 Mt CO2 eq, compared to 730 Mt CO2 eq in 2005. Emissions from oil and gas…

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South Korea Needs to Do More to Strengthen Its Emissions Reduction Goals and Implement Its Policies

This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Korea Country Manager Jitae ChangSouth Korea’s ambitious goal to be part of global green movements has been widely publicized. In his speech on October 28, 2020, President Moon proclaimed plans for carbon neutrality (net-zero) by 2050. The 2050 long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy (LEDS) and…

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Divergent Central and Local Government Interests May Impede Implementation of China’s Climate Targets 

This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard China Country Manager Annette Wiedenbach   Central planning vs. local sustainable implementation At the end of 2020, China officially pledged to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and to become carbon neutral in 2060, a decade later than other regions, like the EU. A concrete roadmap on how…

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EU Member States Plans Not Ambitious Enough to Meet EU Climate Goals

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard European Union Manager Brittany Demogenes   One of the largest obstacles that threatens to prevent the EU from reaching its goals of a 55% decrease in emissions compared to 1990 levels and carbon neutrality by 2050 is the unwillingness of numerous Member States to do their part to…

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Financial Impact of Climate Policies in France Seeding Distrust in Government Climate Agenda

Submitted by Climate Scorecard France Country Manager Stephanie TapolsyFrance has an extensive set of climate targets and policies – on the national and EU levels – to reduce their emissions and combat climate change. France has committed, through legally binding laws, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and become carbon neutral…

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Germany’s Climate Action Plans Set Ambitious Goals but Often Lack Specific Implementation Measures

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Germany Country Manager Zahi Badra Germany has detailed action plans published in recent years, paving the path to achieve its reduction goals of 55% (recently updated to 65%) by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 (recently updated to 2045). These plans contain a package of measures covering almost…

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A Lack of Accountability for Acting on Climate Change in Spain

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Spain Country Manager Wendy Paredes   The framework of energy and climate policy in Spain is determined by the European Union (EU), which in turn responds to the requirements of the Paris Agreement. In this context, the European Commission presented the so-called Climate Target Plan by the year…

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Turkey: Lack of 2030 and 2050 Emissions Reduction Plans and a Fossil Fuel Centered COVID Economic Recovery Plan

This post was submitted by Turkey Country Manager Barış Can Sever Turkey lacks a plan for reducing 2030 and 2050 emissions levels. It has signed but not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. Its NDC pledge is 21% below current Business as Usual levels. There is an absence of any climate action plans for reducing emissions…

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UK’s Major Climate Challenges: Reduce Emissions from the Residential Heating, Aviation and Shipping Sectors

This Post has been submitted by Climate Scorecard United Kingdom Country Managers Thomas Christensen and Gwenyth WrenUK climate change target and progress The UK has a 68% emissions reduction goal by 2030 (NDC) and a 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, as well as a 2050 net zero goal. It has brought emissions down…

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The Biggest Obstacles for Ukraine Climate Policies: Lack of Needed Capital Investment and Widespread Corruption

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager Anastasiia Bushovska The biggest obstacle for Ukraine in reaching its climate goals is in the lack of needed economic resources. For the gradual transition to a climate-neutral economy, Ukraine needs 102 billion euro of capital investment through 2030. There is currently no plan on how…

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India’s Challenges: Lack of Promised External Financial Resources and Greater Internal Investment in Climate Technologies

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra Pandey India has been seized of the climate change issues and its impact both nationally and internationally, implementing collective action to avoid the tipping point of global warming. It is also a signatory to Paris Climate Agreement (2015) and has made commitments to…

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Japan’s Continued Reliance on Fossil Fuels Poses Largest Climate Obstacle

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Japan Country Manager Yun Tzu-LinLast October, Prime Minister Suga pledged Japan’s intentions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and achieve a decarbonized society. Reaching this 2050 goal will require steep emission reductions by 2030. However, a major obstacle to this goal is Japan’s continued…

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Mexico’s Significant Obstacles: Lack of Energy Policy Accountability; Lack of Environmental Leadership and Accountability; Insufficient Allocation of Financial Resources

Submitted By Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Pablo David Necoechea Porras This text aims to identify the most significant obstacles Mexico faces in combatting climate change and reaching the country’s Climate Commitment Goals of reducing emissions by 22% in 2030 and 50% in 2050. Scientific evidence and environmental impacts recorded by recent events have changed the…

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Nigeria’s Government Failure to Follow Through on Important Climate Goals and Its Economic Dependence on Fossil Fuel Exports

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter HansenThe Nigerian government has made some bold claims regarding reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. They have pledged “…to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, when compared to “business-as-usual” levels. This pledge rises to 45% on the condition of international support” (Carbon…

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Russia’s Largest Obstacle: An Outdated Fuel and Energy System

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Russia Country Manager Michael Oshchepkov Emissions from motor vehicles is a major obstacle to achieving the Russian goal of reducing energy intensity of GDP by 25% by 2025 and reducing automobile emissions by 60% by 2030. Currently, motor vehicles in Russia run mainly on petroleum products. Only about…

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Continued Dependence on Fossil Fuels in Saudi Arabia and the Lack of a Feasible Plan to Increase Renewable Energy

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Saudi Arabia Country Managers Abeer Abdulkareem and Amgad Ellaboudy   The biggest challenge for implementing the policy of increased Renewable Energy Capacity Program include continued dependence on fossil fuels energy sources and the small share of renewable energy in the nation’s total energy consumption. The majority of Saudi…

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The Conflicting Goals of Reducing Poverty and Reducing Carbon Emissions at the Same Time in South Africa

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Africa Country Manager Andrew John Hall South Africa is already considered to be living on the edge, in terms of climate. Much of the country is arid or semi-arid and the whole country is subject to recurring droughts and floods. South Africa is faced with a difficult…

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Politics Stands in the Way of a Green America

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard United States Country Manager Nathan HolmanBackground In the first six months of his presidency, President Biden has made substantial progress undoing the damaging environmental policies of the Trump administration. The new President has re-instated science experts on review boards, reneged the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and…

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The Italian Recovery Plan is Not in Line with EU’s 2030 Climate Objectives

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Italy Country Manager Andrea Bruno  The two Climate Scorecard country climate commitment goals consist of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Italy is on track at least as far as these objectives are concerned. Indeed, being part of the EU, Italy shares…

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