Demonstrates that Current Pledges Fall Short
All the latest emission reduction pledges from developed countries, including recent announcements from the U.S. and Russia, are incorporated in an interactive Web application released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) here today at the U.N. climate conference.
“Understanding the levels of ambition of developed country targets, as well as how they compare with one another, is crucial. Hopefully this will help them agree to an ambitious path towards reducing their pollution,” said Rob Bradley, WRI’s international climate director.
Web users can easily test the strength and comparability of pledges - based on a variety of scenarios – by Australia, Belarus, Canada, Croatia, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States.
“Anyone can play online with these updated pledge numbers, choose assumptions, and compare commitments of countries. Importantly, the user can also see how far current pledges go towards addressing the urgent problem of climate change,” said Kelly Levin, a WRI associate and lead analyst on this work.
Scenarios for comparing country pledges include:
- percent change in per capita reductions versus absolute reductions;
- baseline years of 1990, 2000, 2005, or 2006;
- high and/or low pledge ranges; and
- with or without land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) emissions in the baseline.
An accompanying report, Comparability of Annex I Emission Reduction Pledges, along with a chart comparing 2020 targets of Annex I countries, is also being released today. It details the commitments from industrialized countries that are part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The report finds that developed country pledges total a 13 percent to 18 percent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, depending on the assumptions made about the details of the pledges.
This falls far short of the 25 percent to 40 percent range of emission reductions that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states would be necessary for stabilizing concentrations of carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million, a level associated with a 26 percent to 78 percent risk of overshooting a 2 degrees Celsius temperature increase.
“It is clear that we need industrialized countries to come forward with more ambitious pledges in Copenhagen if we are to avert the worst impacts of climate change,” added Jennifer Morgan, director of WRI’s Climate and Energy Program.
The numbers in the Web application, report, and chart represent pledges by countries responsible for 98 percent of all developed country greenhouse gas emissions.
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