At Leaders Climate Summit, Countries Adopted Net Zero Targets

Synopsis:

At the Leaders Climate summit, the countries including U.S, U.K, Japan, etc. have adopted revamped Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) (under the Paris agreement). This is a step in the right direction, but a higher commitment is desired to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees celsius.

Background:
  • The two-day Leaders Climate Summit was hosted by the US virtually.
  • It was attended by leaders of more than 40 countries amongst whom many have resorted to new NDCs targets and climate commitments.
New Targets and Commitments as part of NDCs:
  • US:  It has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
    • The country aspires to attain net zero emissions status before 2050. Also, it committed to double its annual public climate finance to developing countries by 2024. 
  • Japan: It has pledged to reduce emissions by 46 per cent from 2013 levels by 2030.
  • Canada: It has pledged to cut emissions by 40-45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
  • EU: It has shown a commitment to reduce emissions by 55 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030.
  • U.K: It has shown a commitment to reduce emissions by 78 per cent from 1990 levels by 2035.
  • India: It didn’t announce any updated NDC. However, India reached a consensus with the US over a new India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership. 
    • It aims to mobilize investments in clean technologies for industry, transportation, power, and buildings.
Analysing the new targets of Leaders Climate Summit:
  • The new 50-52% reduction target of the U.S is 12 percent higher than its previous commitment. As its previous NDC worked out to a 38 percent reduction by 2030.
  • Similarly, the targets of Japan, EU, U.K, and Canada are greater than their previous emission targets.
  • U.K’s commitments and targets are the most ambitious amongst all the countries.
  • Although the U.S has increased the commitment, it falls short of a 1.5˚C-compatible 2030 target as per the Climate Action Tracker (CAT). The commitment is even short of a  Fair Shares NDC estimate.
    • The fair share of the US is 70 percent domestic emissions’ reduction below 2005 levels by 2030 and a further 125 percent reduction abroad through support to developing countries.
Way Ahead:
  • Firstly, the summit has put climate back on the agenda and forced leaders of major economies to confront the scale of the task ahead.
  • Secondly, the U.S should adopt a  57-63 % domestic target to be 1.5˚C compatible by 2030 as per CAT. 
  • Further, the U.S must adhere to the recommendations of  Fair Share NDC analysis. It recommends: 
    • A climate finance contribution of $800 billion between 2021-2030
    • Use of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of $3 trillion to help developing countries

Source: DTE

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