Wednesday

The reality of global climate targets

                            Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Emission Reduction Goals: The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Worldwide


The Paris Climate Accord (UNFCCC COP21 at Paris, November 2015) now includes every nation in the world minus the U.S. (subject to a future reversal of the U.S. withdrawal from the pact). Unfortunately, the Trump Administration seems to have little concern for the environment. All commitments made by the Obama Administration for the Paris Climate Accord are up to individual U.S. states now that toxic Trump backed out of the international agreement, which includes every single nation on the planet (except the U.S., which has announced withdrawal). It is now up to individual U.S. states, like New York and California (2 standouts in setting, and achieving climate goals), to lead the way in climate change and sustainability action, since the U.S. federal government is out. 

  
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) were initially laid out during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December of 2015. Most countries that signed the UNFCCC limitations of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to help mitigate global anthropogenic climate change, and set their reduction goals based on a target and baseline year, and timeline within a global objective. 

The basic global objective of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise to 2°C by the end of the century, for the entire planet 🌍. A more ambitious, and effective, goal is to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century. 2025 to 2050 is the most common parameter for the target year set by nations, nation-states, states, and provinces, for the stated GHG% reduction goal (with the most common baseline year is 1990-2005, depending on the state- see the link to the interactive map of global GHG reduction goals below). 
  
Some of the main targets set during the COP21 conference included the following: 
  
1. China set one of the most ambitious goals, to have a 60-65% reduction of GHGs by 2030 based on 2005 levels. 
2. US states, like CA and NY (the most ambitious of the largest states), along with at least 20 others, are sticking to the stated goal (with varying degrees of ambition depending on the state) of the US in the Paris Climate Accord of a 26-28% GHG  reduction overall by 2025-2050 based on levels that vary from 1990 to 2005 as baseline years.   US federal government under Trump is out. 
3. Europe (the EU) stated a 40% GHG reduction based on their 1990 levels by 2030. 
4. India stated a continual GHG emission reduction based on units of GDP. 
5. Australia pledged a 26-28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, with a 50-52% per capita reduction as well. 
6. Canada has a goal of reducing 130 megatons of GHGs by 2020, of which they are already at 28% as of 2017. An additional goal of being 30% below 2005 emission rates by 2030 was set as well. 
  
Many countries are having difficulties keeping pace with their stated Paris climate goals, at this point: /world-emissions-goals-far-off-course.html 
 Many US states are still 100% committed to the commitments made in 2015 in Paris. US states that are on the Eastern and Western coasts, where the greatest access to renewable energy resources exists for homes and businesses, have made the biggest GHG reduction commitments.  

The target year as distant as 2050 exists for some of the less ambitious states, however, many states are following the more climate-friendly leads set by states like California and New York. Many states set a goal of over 25% reduction for carbon and GHG emission rates by as early as 2025, compared to 1990 levels. At least 14 U.S. states have stayed on track to meet the Paris climate goals, despite the withdrawal of the country from the agreement. (states-paris-trump-climate-change-alliance-leadership-jerry-brown-cuomo-inslee-nrdc-2050) 

Interactive map of global greenhouse gas reduction targets via the UNFCCC- unfccc.int/topics/mitigation/workstreams/nationally-appropriate-mitigation-actions




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Written by Sara McIntosh

Sara McIntosh is a freelance writer and editor who has been working in the web field for approximately 11 years now. With a degree in English, Sara has been writing about many different industries and topics, including sustainability for Greenergy EcoVillages in 2017. Sara has done work in blogs, articles, and copywriting.