Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) form the basis of the COP21 Paris agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise “well below” 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Nations outline their INDC plans on cutting their post-2020 emissions.
There is a legal requirement for these INDC plans to be revised ever five years. There is no requirement to state how the reductions will be achieved and there is no legal requirement to achieve the INDC targets. This is surely a major weakness.
The INDC’s of the largest greenhouse gas emitters have set their targets: China has targeted a 60-65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030; the United States, has targeted a 26-28% reduction by 2025; and the European Union has targeted a 40% reduction by 2030.
By maintaining the status quo in terms of carbon emission it is anticipated that the global temperature rise will reach 3.6⁰C by 2100. A recently published assessment (http://climateactiontracker.org/) suggested that the emission reductions currently outlined in the currently submitted INDC’s would result in a global temperature rise by 2.7C.
This figure was generated by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT). CAT is an independent scientific analysis, produced by four research organisations, tracking climate action and global efforts towards the globally agreed aim of holding warming below 2°C.
CAT categorise each of the submitted INDC’s as follows:
|Inadequate||If all governments put forward inadequate positions warming likely to exceed 3–4°C.|
|Medium||Not consistent with limiting warming below 2°C as it would require many other countries to make a comparably greater effort and much deeper reductions.|
|Sufficient||Fully consistent with below 2°C limit.|
|Role Model||More than consistent with below 2°C limit.|
Of the 31 INDC’s that have been reviewed:
- Five are Sufficient: Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Morocco and The Gambia
- Ten are Medium: including the China, EU and the USA
- Sixteen are Inadequate: including Russia, South Africa and Australia
It is important to remember that these INDC’s are pledges and not legally binding. None of these countries have a clear plan on how to achieve their INDC targets. So without a coherent plan it is fair to assume that it is more likely that the IDNC targets will be missed rather than exceeded.