Little progress on climate pledges
November 3, 2022 - Many pledges made at last year’s COP26 summit – to phase-down coal and cut deforestation and methane emissions – have yet to be honoured. Only 24 countries have updated their emissions targets.
In 2020, when the Covid pandemic hit demand for oil and coal, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell to 31.5 billion tonnes, according to the International Energy Agency.
However, last year saw emissions rise to 36.3 billion tonnes -- their highest level ever. Carbon dioxide levels increased more rapidly than the average annual growth rate of the previous decade. At the same time, methane concentrations experienced the most significant year-on-year jump since records began nearly 40 years ago.
In its “Emissions Gap Report 2022,” the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that pledges made by 151 countries to improve so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to cut emissions will have a negligible effect on limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
“To get on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we would need to cut 45 per cent off current greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. For 2°C, we would need to cut 30 per cent,” says Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP in the report.
“Countries are off track to achieve even the globally highly insufficient NDCs.”
Based on current policies, estimates of global GHG emissions in 2030 will hit 58 billion tonnes.
- Emissions Gap Report 2022 (United Nations Environment Programme)
- Global CO2 emissions rebound by nearly 5% in 2021, approaching the 2018-2019 peak (IEA)
- Global CO2 emissions rebounded to their highest level in history in 2021 (IEA)
- Factbox: COP26 a year later: Where do last year's climate pledges stand? (Reuters)
- At a crossroads report (Oilchange International)