Weak Paris Agreement Commitments are already mostly on track to not be kept

What are the commitments made by 184 countries related to the Paris Agreement on the environment ?

Developed countries have offered absolute economy-wide emissions targets (the United States, for instance, had pledged to reduce its emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025).

If fully implemented, the submitted INDCs for 2025 and 2030 are projected to lead to a warming of around 2.7°C by 2100 reflecting a 0.4°C improvement on the situation in December 2014, where only announcements for 2030 and pledges for 2020 were available.

Compared to the 3.6°C by 2100 warming that is projected to result from current policies the INDCs submitted lower warming by about 0.9°C

There is still a large emissions gap in 2025 and, to stay below 2°C, the gap is 11-13 GtCO2e.

What is the difference between fully meeting the promises versus business as usual ?
Full promises met 53-56 billion ton of CO2 per year in 2030 versus no projection with no agreement 58 to 61 billion tons of CO2.

For 1.5°C the 2025 gap is 14-16 GtCO2e and would therefore require significant improvement in the level of mitigation ambition.

With current INDCs, the emissions gap is set to grow rapidly towards 2030.

There is a major risk that if current INDCs are locked in for 2030 and not reviewed and strengthened every five years, starting in 2020, that achievement of the 1.5°C goal called for by all the most vulnerable countries may be locked out, and achievement of the 2°C goal fundamentally threatened.

The EU plan is to greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 40%” by 2030, against a 1990 baseline.

The EU says this is in line with an existing EU objective to cut emissions by 80-95% in 2050 against 1990 levels. It also says the target is consistent with “the need for at least halving global emissions by 2050 compared to 1990”.

Germany’s total energy consumption rose by 1.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). Colder weather, 2016’s leap day, a growing economy and population growth outweighed any energy savings. German energy-related CO₂ emissions rose almost 1 percent in 2016, despite a fall in coal use and the ongoing expansion of renewable energy sources.

The latest data underpins many experts’ view that Germany was unlikely to meet the target of reducing primary energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2008 levels. Applying AGEB’s estimates, energy consumption in 2016 is 6.6 percent lower than in 2008.

Primary energy consumption is also crucial to determining Germany’s CO₂ emissions. The country of the Energiewende, the dual move to phase-out nuclear power and cut carbon emissions, has made great strides in increasing the share of renewables in power generation, but CO2 emissions have remained stubbornly high, making it increasingly unlikely Germany will reach its target of cutting emissions 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

In order to meet its 2025 Paris Agreement commitment—or NDC—of reducing emissions by 26–28% below 2005 levels, the USA would have had to implement both the Clean Power Plan and the Obama Administration’s full Climate Action Plan. Current US policies, including the Clean Power Plan, would only reduce emissions to 10% below 2005 levels by 2025. If the Clean Power Plan is stopped, emissions in 2025 are likely to be even higher, at 7% below 2005 levels, halting the downward trend of the last decade. The emissions levels between business as usual and the Clean Power Plan and the Obama Administrations Climate Action plan are virtually identical up to 2022.

Europe, USA and Japan all had weak promises relative to the 2 degree warming and those promises if kept would not meet the target. Those promises were already on track to fall short by a lot. The US climate policies from Obama were going to be about 20% of the emissions gains from the boosts in natural gas usage that displaced coal usage.

Nuclear energy facilities avoided 554 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2016 across the U.S. If the US increased nuclear energy production by 50% then they would match the fully implemented impact of the Clean Power Plan and the Obama Administration’s full Climate Action Plan.

China is implementing significant policies to address climate change, most recently aiming to restrict coal consumption, which may well have already peaked, based on recent estimates. This is because China is finally making progress to reduce its massive air pollution problem.

A new study released by the Manhattan Institute last week criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) for their flawed analysis of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

* The EPA’S cost-benefit analysis of the CPP is fallacious;
* The EPA drastically underestimated the costs of the CPP; and
* The CPP will have NO measurable impact on world climate.

CPP lacked basic logic in that it compares estimates of world economic benefits to U.S. only costs. The EPA ignored the broader impacts on the U.S. economy including potential reductions in future U.S. GDP growth from higher energy costs. Also being ignored by the EPA was the impact of changes in future U.S. economic growth on the world economy.

The study cites an EPA-sponsored climate model showing that the CPP will have an estimated impact of less than 0.01 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

The EPA estimated CPP would cost $9 billion per year and the Climate action plan about $4 billion per year. Others have estimated costs that up to five times higher.

Venezuela pledges to reduce emissions by at least 20% compared to business-as-usual levels by 2030, conditional upon developed countries fulfilling commitments on finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

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