Nations Fail to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Paris, Jan 5 (AFP/APP): More than half the world’s nations failed to submit upgraded commitments by year’s end to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, straggling behind the schedule of accelerated climate ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement.

Almost every country on the planet signed up for the 2015 Paris deal, which calls for capping global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and 1.5C if possible.

The first raft of so-called “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) would; if fulfilled, still see Earth become 3C hotter, but nations pledged to intensify their emissions cuts, with revised plans due every five years.

As December 31, 2020, deadline approached, several large emitters said they would achieve net-zero output this century, but many nations allowed the year-end to pass without publishing details of their renewed short-term targets.

Most NDC pledges run to 2030, with a few — including that of the United States — ending in 2025.

As of January 1, only around 70 out of nearly 200 nations had filed updated commitments, according to the United Nations, with some countries blaming delays on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Climate advocates are particularly eager to see the latest plans from China, the world’s largest emitter. President Xi Jinping last year outlined new ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But the country has yet to formally submit proposals.

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