Countries vowed to ramp up climate pledges in 2022. Very few have. – The Washington Post

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Climate Change

Last fall, at a high-profile global climate summit in Scotland, the countries of the world embraced what seemed like a significant commitment in the quest to combat climate change.Acknowledging that progress had been too slow, leaders agreed to “revisit and strengthen” their national climate targets if possible over the coming year — rather than waiting every five years, as envisioned under the 2015 Paris climate accord.Global greenhouse gas emissionsNote: Greenhouse gas emissions are expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, to normalize gases based on their warming potential over 100 years.The push came as part of the effort to hold average global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with preindustrial levels — a key threshold past which scientists have said disastrous impacts become far more likely.But as the world prepares to reconvene in Egypt this month for COP27, the annual U.N. climate change conference, almost none of the globe’s biggest emitters have come forward with stronger commitments. Few nations overall have ramped up their ambition, despite another year of floods, fires and other climate-related catastrophes.“Disappointing,” is how Claire Fyson, co-head of the climate policy team at the nonprofit research group Climate Analytics, describes the lackluster reality. “Few governments have really done anything to substantially move the dial.”Story continues below advertisementAdvertisementStory continues below advertisementAdvertisementAccording to the independent Climate Action Tracker, as of Thursday only 21 countries have submitted updated national climate commitments as leaders are set to gather at the summit, which starts Nov. 6 in Egypt — and not even all those newer plans contain more ambitious goals. Meanwhile, another 172 countries have not updated their targets, the group said.Only one large country so far has filed a plan that includes stronger, credible emissions-cutting commitments: Australia.“But Australia came from a very, very low baseline,” said Niklas Höhne, a German climatologist who created the Climate Action Tracker. “They have a lot of catching up to do.”In short, the momentum that emerged at last fall’s summit in Scotland has stalled, as other crises such as the war in Ukraine and rising inflation and energy costs have demanded the attention of world leaders.Projected greenhouse gas emissions in 2030RequiredTotalPer personPledgedRequired for 1.5°CChinamegatons CO2etons CO2emegatons CO2emegatons CO2eU.S.IndiaE.U.RussiaIndonesiaBrazilIranJapanMexicoShow allThe news isn’t all bad.Earlier this year, the United States passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a major piece of legislation that includes $369 billion in funding related to the climate and energy issues. As a result, U.S. emissions are projected to drop sharply over the coming decade.Even so, the new legislation alone will not be enough to meet the Biden administration’s pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least …

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