Report: 150 Countries Emitting 90% of the World’s Carbon Emissions Have Pledged to Reduce Them

atmosphere
TheGuardian.org has reported that some 150 countries representing around 90% of the world’s carbon emissions have now filed pledges to curb them, dramatically increasing the chances of a deal at the Paris climate summit in December.

The promises made so far would still put the world on track for dangerous global warming rise of 3C (around 9F). But they could be adjusted in the future to meet the 2C target recommended by international scientists, the EU’s climate commissioner, Miguel Cañete, told a UN conference in Rabat, Morocco.

“The gap is not as big as expected if the INDCs (intended nationally determined contributions) are transformed and fully implemented,” said Cañete. “Their scope and scale is an achievement in itself.”

The French development minister, Annick Girardin, said that many of the pledges came from developing countries, and had brightened prospects for a climate treaty in December.

“We’ve now got a global positive dynamic telling us that the world is moving on climate change,” said Girardin. “It was unexpected to receive all these contributions and it sends a very strong signal from Rabat that we can reach a global agreement in Paris.”

Privately, EU officials admit that many national pledges have been conservative, reflecting caution about an untried INDC process. Ambitions were also dented by the onus on countries to make pledges in advance of a final deal or, often, knowledge of other countries’ offers.

But there is growing certainty among diplomats that a deal will be signed in Paris, succeeding the 1992 Kyoto protocol. By the time the US withdrew from it in 2005, Kyoto only covered 35 countries, and 14% of the world’s emissions.

Unlike that treaty, the Paris agreement will have no ‘stick’ of legal sanctions or formal enforcement to use against countries which renege on their commitments. “It is a bottom up approach as there are no compulsory targets and sanctions,” said Cañete.

Instead, officials hope that performance reviews will take place at regular five-yearly intervals to “facilitate” emissions-cutting reforms. “If you are serious about this message, the INDCs need to be revised before they start in 2021,” said Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe. “Unfortunately, there is no agreement on that and I wouldn’t expect any.”

Cañete suggested that the EU would consider progress towards meeting carbon-cutting promises, when assessing future climate funding payouts. “We have to assess globally how the INDCs have been implemented,” he said. “If there is additional financial support available, those who have made conditional pledges, we will have to look at them and see how we target financial support.”

The EU is the world’s biggest donor of funds for climate aid and disaster relief, and the UK, France and Germany say they will double their climate spending by 2020. France has promised revenues for an early warning system that can be installed in developing countries, while Germany has pledged €400m (£298m) of funds for an insurance scheme to help people in poor southern countries that are vulnerable to natural disasters.

Globally, countries have signed off on the creation of a $100bn-a-year green climate fund, which should disburse climate aid by 2020. Only a tenth of that has been ring-fenced so far, but the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that£40bn was channelled to developing world climate projects by their richer neighbours last year.

Oxfam is unhappy that much of this money may be double counted from overseas development aid budgets. But after fears at the highest level this summer that slow progress could doom an agreement in Paris, a sense of relief, if not optimism, was tangible in Rabat.

“We are making history,” the Moroccan environment minister, Hakima el-Haité told the UN meeting. “The fight against climate change is not going to end in Paris. It is not going to end with our generation. It is a long term struggle and our efforts so far are not sufficient. But in terms of progress, we have made a revolution in just one year.”

About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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