No G20 country on track to deliver Paris Agreement goals

There are no countries in the G20 with climate pledges compatible with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.


That is the stark conclusion of a new report from the global partnership Climate Transparency, which reveals that India is the only country that comes close to delivering a 1.5˚C pathway.

It warns that the world is still heading towards 3.2˚C of warming, and highlights how none of the G20 nations have the required long-term strategies to halve their emissions by 2030.

Approximately 82% of these countries’ energy supply still comes from fossil fuels, rising to more than 90% in Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan, with little change recorded in recent years.

This comes just one month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed that the world has just 12 years to make the “rapid and unprecedented” changes to society needed to avoid uncontrollable global warming.

“Instead of responding to the urgency of climate change, G20 countries continue to pour money into factors that drive climate disruption, like fossil fuel subsidies, instead of taking stronger action,” report co-author, Jiang Kejun, said.

“Power generation from coal, oil and gas, and transport produce the biggest chunk of emissions in the vast majority of G20 countries – no government is really getting a grip on these sectors.”

Australia, the US, Russia and Indonesia are singled out as being among the laggards when it comes to their climate ambitions, while the UK and France receive praise for their transitions away from coal.

Japan, France and the UK score well for transport, with the US, Canada and Australia bottom in this area, while the EU is the only real leader for cutting emissions in the industry and buildings sectors.

It was also found that Saudi Arabia, Italy, Australia and Brazil provide the highest amount of fossil fuel subsidies per GDP, and that only Canada and France generated more from carbon pricing in 2017 than from subsidies.

“While there are some positive developments, the continued reliance on – and funding of – fossil fuels is standing in the way of the G20’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” Climate Transparency co-chair, Peter Eigen, said. “It’s time to pick up the pace.” 


Image credit | iStock

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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