To keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal within reach, G20 countries will have to increase their 2030 emission targets by 2020 and significantly scale up mitigation, adaptation and finance over the next decade.
Carbon emissions from the world’s 20 biggest economies are rising. None of the G20 countries have plans that will put them on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C, despite the fact that most are technically capable and have economic incentives.
These findings are detailed in the new ‘Brown to Green Report 2019’ published by the Climate Transparency partnership, an international research collaboration.
The report is the most comprehensive review of G20 countries’ climate performance, mapping achievements and drawbacks in their efforts to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts and green the financial system.
Many of the current 2030 climate targets under the Paris Agreement (Nationally Determined Contributions – NDCs) are too weak, with about half of the G20 countries projected to meet or overachieve their inadequate NDCs. There is plenty of room for enhanced ambition among all G20 countries.
“Just one year before the critical deadline the findings give us hope that countries will find the political will to commit to higher emission reduction targets in 2020 as they promised under the Paris Agreement”, says Alvaro Umaña, the co-chair of Climate Transparency and Former Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica.
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“For the first time, the report identifies untapped potential and key opportunities for countries to ramp up ambition and as such will be a valuable tool for governments when they update their climate plans.”
Key findings for the G20
- Energy-related CO2 emissions in G20 countries shot up by 1.8 per cent in 2018 due to rising energy demand
- Energy supply is not getting cleaner: Despite a more than 5 per cent rise in G20 total renewable energy supply in 2018, the share of fossil fuels in the G20 energy mix remains at 82 per cent
- In 2018, G20 emissions in the power sector increased by 1.6 per cent. While renewables now account for 25.5 per cent of power generation, this is not sufficient to outweigh the growth of emissions from fossil fuel sources. Coal needs to be phased out by 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 globally.
- G20 countries still provided more than $127bn in fossil fuel subsidies in 2017.
Subsidies have shown a decrease in nine G20 countries (partly due to falling fuel
prices), but subsidies for natural gas infrastructure and production have remained
stable or increased in many countries (despite lower prices). Diverting only a fraction of these fossil fuel subsidies towards renewables could pay for the clean energy transition and reduce emissions significantly.