The COP26 Climate Change Conference has resulted in new pledges worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But still, they fall short of keeping global temperatures below 1.5 degrees C of warming. An updated analysis on this was released on 9th November. An independent scientific analysis is known as Climate Action Tracker (CAT) studies every country’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was found that the world is on course for between 1.7°C and 2.6°C of warming. It has been warned by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that to avoid the severe effects of climate change; temperature rise needs to be kept below 1.5°C.
The report by CAT has found that of the many pledges to zero out climate emissions, only four have concrete plans to achieve that. They are by UK, European Union, Chile, Costa Rica. By 2100, as estimated by CAT warming, will reach 2.1°C, an amount of warming. This will lead to devastating weather events. The CAT reports state that there is massive credibility, action and commitment gap over the national pledges. However, this latest figure is an improvement on the Paris Agreement, but it is still short of where climate scientists had hoped to be after the Glasgow conference.
It is perfect for leaders to claim that they have the net-zero target, but most do not have plans for achieving it. It is great to see countries submitting more aggressive targets. But the reality is something different. Some national pledges lack sufficient detail to convince experts that they are going to be achieved. China and US have made clear plans on how they will reach net-zero emission by 2060 and 2050respectively. India came forward with its first-ever emissions reduction commitment, saying it would reach net-zero emissions by 2070. But till now, no details have been shared on how it will achieve it. As a result, CAT discounted India’s pledge.
CAT projects 2 degrees C to 3.6 degrees C of warming by 2100 based on the current policies. No single CAT analyzed whether good short-term policies in place has to put itself on track to its net-zero target. The US, which is 2nd emitter in the world, is a good example. The President of the US has pledged reduced emissions by at least 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, but Senate hasn’t passed the proposal.
In September, a UN analysis suggests that emissions will rise 16% by 2030, while IPCC says they need to go down by 45% in that time frame. On 10th November, the US announced that it had reached a joint agreement with China to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, and both countries will put in their best efforts. Those newest pledges are not included in the report’s estimates. China hasn’t made any plans to achieve the climate target that it has pledged to do. All the promises made in the climate change agreement, there are no penalties for failing to live up to them. There are hopes that nations would sign onto bold new pronouncements to reduce global greenhouse emissions. Some of the efforts include a pledge to end coal use, a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.