Canada’s carbon reduction promises are deemed “insufficient” and the United States is labelled “critically insufficient” in a new rating system introduced this week to assess progress toward the 1.5°C long-term target in the Paris agreement.
“We created these new categories because we wanted to be able to show more accurately whether government climate commitments are adequate to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C warming limit and provide a baseline for evaluating their actions,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics. The previous system placed “the vast majority” of the 33 countries it rated in the “medium” or “inadequate” categories, he explained, “which made it difficult for people to judge a government’s relative and absolute performance.”
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The new rating system makes it clear just how far countries have to go to align their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the voluntary commitments at the heart of the Paris agreement, with the long-term goal they adopted when they signed the landmark global deal in 2015. There are no countries in the “role model” category, and only Morocco has committed to climate plans that are compatible with the 1.5°C target.
Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Philippines, and The Gambia have climate plans compatible with a 2.0°C target, but then it’s downhill from there, with 12 jurisdictions—including Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the entire EU—in the “insufficient” category consistent with 3.0°C average global warming.
Argentina, China, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea rate “highly insufficient”. Chile, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Ukraine join the United States in the “critically insufficient” group, with climate commitments that point to average global warming above 4.0°C.
Long term (2030 or 2050) targets are of little value if they are not accompanied by annual milestones – as is the case in California with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
Great point, Jeff. We’re hearing that the federal legislation will include five-year milestones. I really hope we’re hearing right.