Climate crisis demands more government action as emissions rise
Mid-year update: Climate crisis demands more government action as emissions rise
Bonn – 19 June 2019 — Amid growing public concern as climate impacts start to bite, governments must take bold action to address the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, but most of them are not, said the Climate Action Tracker at the Bonn climate talks today, as it released its latest update of government action.
The CAT has updated its assessments of 24 of the 32 countries it rates.
“We are seeing an increasing number of Governments beginning to talk about net zero emissions by or before 2050, but we also know that we must halve global emissions by 2030 in order to keep the 1.5˚C goal alive, and most governments are nowhere near the action they need to take,” said Professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute.
Last year, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions reached an historic high, with more than a third of emissions from coal, but the fastest-growing source is from natural gas, which grew 4.6% from 2017 to 2018.
The US, India and China were responsible for 85% of the global rise in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions over the past year, and renewable energy additions have stagnated after 20 years of strong growth. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has accelerated in recent years, likely due to increasing emissions from oil and gas production.
“Public concern is rising fast, with global movements like Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion pushing governments toward action as people take to the streets. As we turn from climate change to a climate crisis, the public priority is rising, and we expect Governments to take bold action,” said Höhne.
“Emissions keep rising and impacts are being felt all around the world, with developing countries experiencing the brunt of these impacts – recent examples include devastating floods and loss of life in East Africa caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai, and record 50˚C temperatures in India” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics.
“Governments need to seriously step up their game. Yet we are seeing countries with ‘critically insufficient’ Paris targets so weak they’ll be met without doing anything – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and showing no signs of improvement. And there are others– for example Brazil and Australia and the USA, who are walking backwards from climate action.”
There are key governments – the EU, China and India – who are likely to meet or exceed their Paris targets and can increase their action substantially as they haven’t reached the level of ‘highest possible ambition’ as stated in the Paris Agreement.
“Although the overall picture is not good there are signs of progress with a number of countries moving forward, including Costa Rica, Chile and the UK with new zero emissions targets and other actions,” he said.
It has been reported that up to 80 countries may announce new targets later this year at the UN Secretary General’s Summit in September, which is in preparation for 2020, when countries are expected to increase the ambition of their Paris Agreement targets.
“On a positive note, the growth in electricity produced from renewables grew 7% from 2017 to 2018, more than twice as fast that from fossil fuel-sourced power,” said Hare.
Access the Press release, with high resolution graphics
Carbon capture and storage could unleash 86 billion tonne carbon bomb
A new analysis finds reliance on carbon capture and storage could release an extra 86 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere between 2020 and 2050.
Projected warming almost unchanged for two years as governments push false solutions over climate action
Despite their promises, governments have not taken enough action to drive down warming projections, with some instead turning to false solutions such as carbon capture and storage to continue the world's reliance on fossil fuels, according to the Climate Action Tracker's annual warming update.
Oil and gas majors could have paid for their share of climate loss and damage and still earned 10 trillion USD: new report
Global climate damages from emissions associated with the top 25 oil and gas ‘carbon majors’ between 1985 and 2018 are estimated at 20 trillion USD compared to the 30 trillion USD they earned over the same period, according to a new report released today by international think tank Climate Analytics.
A 1.5˚C pathway for the Philippines power sector entirely feasible: analysis
With the right international funding and policies in place, the Philippines could transition its’ power sector to near-100% renewable energy without compromising on the costs of electricity, reducing its reliance on expensive imports of both coal and gas, and creating up to a million jobs by 2050.
State of Climate Action report finds progress lags on every measure except EV sales
Global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator — except electric passenger car sales — lagging significantly behind the pace and scale that is necessary to address the climate crisis.
Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows
The Production Gap Report finds governments plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.
Beetaloo fracking and Middle Arm emissions wildly underestimated: analysis
An independent analysis of the projected emissions from the Northern Territory's proposed Beetaloo Basin gas fracking project — and the associated Middle Arm LNG precinct in Darwin Harbour — has found they've been gravely underestimated, as have the availability of offsets to deal with them.
Comic artists respond to the climate crisis
Three leading comic creators have collaborated with the Horizon Europe project, CONSTRAIN, to develop comics exploring the climate change challenge.
Adelle Thomas elected as Vice-Chair of the IPCC's Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability group
Dr. Adelle Thomas elected as Vice-Chair of the IPCC's Working Group II contribution on on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability for the seventh assessment report cycle
Changes to the jet stream could trigger simultaneous crop failures impacting global food security
This new study finds that the jet stream – air currents in the upper atmosphere – can synchronise extreme weather caused by climate change, resulting in crop failures in multiple countries at the same time.