The climate delay remains enormous at the dawn of COP27

Less than three weeks before the next UN climate conference (COP27), the gap between state commitments and scientific requirements to limit global warming is still just as deep, reveals a new report published on Thursday.

The most recent update of the States’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement thus demonstrates that compliance with this international agreement is far from certain, which directly threatens the objective of limiting climate change over the coming decades.

To hope not to exceed an average warming of 1.5°C, the most ambitious objective of the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculates that global GHG emissions are expected to decline 43% from 2019 levels by 2030. They should then be reduced to « net zero » by 2050.

However, a new report published on Wednesday by the World Resources Institute (WRI), an American think tank specializing in environmental analysis, estimates that all the current commitments put forward by the States would lead to a reduction of barely 7 % of GHG emissions by 2030. Countries would therefore have to commit to reducing their emissions “six times more” to hope to limit the impacts of global warming to a level deemed viable by climate science.

To come to this conclusion, the WRI calculated the “nationally determined contributions”, ie the voluntary commitments made by the States. These are at the heart of the Paris Agreement. They make it possible to specify the efforts made by each country to reduce its national emissions and adapt to the effects of global warming.

Seven years after Paris

Findings from the new WRI report mean little has changed since the Glasgow Climate Conference (COP26) in the fall of 2021. warming trajectory of at least 2.7°C. This has already reached 1.2°C.

For Greenpeace Canada’s climate-energy campaign spokesperson, Patrick Bonin, the WRI paints a picture of international climate failure. “Seven years after the Paris Agreement, there is still a gigantic gap between the objective of the agreement and the countries’ commitments. »

“All countries must redouble their efforts, starting with the richest who have a duty to assume climate leadership. Canada and Quebec are far from being examples, as their GHG reduction targets are much less ambitious than what science requires and they have no plan to achieve them,” he laments.

“The challenge is enormous, but all countries are in the same boat, and the recipe for success is known. We must drastically reduce emissions, stop adding new fossil fuel infrastructure, protect and restore ecosystems and carbon sinks, and provide financial assistance to developing countries and the most vulnerable. »

The action « at a standstill »

At the beginning of October, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, again criticized the slowness of States to act to reduce their GHG emissions. « Climate chaos is galloping, but climate action has stalled, » he said.

He also denounced the delay and shortcomings of the collective commitments of the G20 governments, which in the current state jeopardize the chances of limiting the increase in global temperature. “It is a matter of life and death, for our safety today and for our survival tomorrow,” he insisted.

Mr. Guterres in the same breath asked developed countries to show « more clarity » on the realization of their pledge to provide 100 billion dollars a year to support climate action in developing countries and asked for « evidence » on how they will double funding for climate adaptation to at least $40 billion in 2025, as agreed at COP26.

“On all climate fronts, the only solution is decisive action and solidarity,” insisted António Guterres, urging leaders to participate in COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, “to show that they too are participating in this fight”.

Targets below increases

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