Promised Emission Cuts Still Insufficient, Experts Say
Oslo. Nations accounting for most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have restated their promises to fight climate change, meeting a Sunday deadline in a low-key endorsement of December’s “Copenhagen Accord”.
Experts say their promised curbs on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 are too small to meet the accord’s key goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.
The UN Climate Change Secretariat plans to publish a list of submissions on Monday. That may put pressure on all capitals to keep their promises.
Countries accounting for at least two-thirds of emissions — led by China, the United States and the European Union — have all written in. Smaller emitters, from the Philippines to Mali, have also sent promises or asked to be associated with the deal.
“Most of the industrialized countries’ promises are in the ‘inadequate’ category,” said Niklas Hoehne, director of energy and climate policy at climate consultant Ecofys, which assesses how far national commitments will help limit climate change.
“The US is not enough, the European Union is not enough.
For the major developed countries it’s still far behind what is expected, except for Japan and Norway,” he said.
Some developing nations, such as Brazil or Mexico, were making relatively greater efforts, he said.
The accord’s goal of limiting warming to below 2 C — meant to help limit floods, droughts, wildfires and rising seas — is twinned with promises of $28 billion in aid for developing nations from 2010-12, rising to $100 billion a year from 2020.
Ecofys reckons that the promised curbs will set the world towards a 3.5 degrees Celsius rise in temperatures, not 2.