19 September, 2019

Pledged action leads to 2.9°C - time to boost national climate action


Climate Analytics, New Climate Institute
Laguna Lejía, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

The world is not on track to limit warming to 1.5°C and meet the Paris Agreement goals. The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) estimates that under current policies, the world will exceed 1.5°C of warming around 2035, 2°C around 2053, and 3.2°C by the end of the century.

If governments fully achieve the emissions cuts they have committed to, warming is likely to rise to 2.9°C – almost twice the 1.5°C limit they agreed in Paris.

Under both of these scenarios, there is a 10% chance of exceeding 4°C by the end of the century -- and even up to a 25% chance based on the higher end of the current policies scenario.

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The CAT finds that this year there has only been a tiny improvement in the total effect of Paris Agreement commitments and of national policies on warming by the end of the century since the last update December 2018, with action only inching forward - at best.

Governments need to correct their course by making bold commitments, starting at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 and scaling up climate action at home.

Governments have agreed to provide updated Paris Agreement commitments by 2020, but no government has yet done so.

It will be against these reference warming estimates that the CAT will track progress in government action and commitments between the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 and the end of 2020.

The CAT has calculated what a ‘fair share’ contribution to limiting warming to 1.5°C would be in 2030 for seven countries (Australia, Chile, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, and Russia) and translated this, to the extent possible, into the way these governments formulate their commitments in order to help judge the scale of action of any announcements made in New York and over the coming year.

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While pursuing a 1.5°C compatible pathway is what is needed to avoid the climate crisis, the CAT has also provided two other benchmarks for 2030: how to move up one level of our rating and the “current path” for further comparison.

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