The Climate Transparency Report (previously known as "Brown to Green Report”) is the world’s most comprehensive annual review of G20 countries’ climate action and their transition to a net zero emissions economy. This year’s report consists of two parts: the annual policy assessment based on data of the previous year(s) is complemented by an analysis of the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and recovery efforts on countries’ climate ambition.
Climate Transparency Report 2020: Key findings at a glance
COVID-19 impact on emissions: G20 CO2 emissions are projected to decrease by 7.5% in 2020
G20 recovery spending: too much support for fossil fuels
- 18 G20 countries are providing some support to green industries (except Saudi Arabia and Russia)
- 10 G20 countries are providing support to the domestic coal sector
- 10 countries are providing support to the gas sector
- 9 countries are providing support to the oil sector
- 14 countries bailed out their national airline companies without conditions attached (only France has included conditions to its bailout)
- 7 countries are providing support to the automobile industry without conditions attached (only Germany and France are providing support with environmental conditions attached)
Vulnerability: G20 countries are experiencing the impacts of climate change
- Between 1999 & 2018, G20 countries lost about 220,000 lives & USD 2.6tn to extreme weather events
- More severe impacts (compared to other countries) are projected at 1.5°C for Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa
- Adaptation (2019): 19 G20 countries have adaptation plans (except Saudi Arabia)
Mitigation (2019): the G20 are not on track for a 1.5°c world
- CO2 energy-related emissions down 0.1% in 2019
- carbon-intensity of primary energy supply -0.8%
- coal consumption -2%
- CO2 emissions from the power sector -2.4%
- 27% of power generated from renewables, compared to 25% in 2018
- CO2 emissions from the building sector +0.9% in 2019
- energy-related CO2 emissions from the agriculture sector -0.5%
- Fossil fuels still 81.5% of primary energy
- Consumption grows in Gas +3% and Oil +1%
- CO2 emissions from the transport sector +1.5%
- CO2 emissions from the industry sector +1.2%
Policy leaders and laggards
- Renewable energy: No country has 1.5°C aligned renewable energy targets. 16 G20 members have policies to increase renewable generation (except Australia, Mexico, USA and Canada)
- Coal: Only Canada, France, Italy, and the UK have 1.5°C compatible coal phase out dates, 10 countries have policies in place to reduce coal consumption.
- Transport: The UK, Canada, Japan and France have targets to phase out fossil fuel cars, Australia and Russia have no policies in place to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. No countries have ambitious policies for decarbonising heavy-duty vehicles.
- Buildings: France, Italy and Germany have 1.5°C compatible policies in place for new zero-energy buildings. Russia and Argentina do not have any policies in this area. No country has 1.5 compatible policies for retrofitting buildings.
- Energy efficiency: Italy and Japan are frontrunners, Germany and India follow with high ambition policies.
- Deforestation: China, EU and Mexico have the most ambitious policies but none of them are 1.5°C compatible.
Finance (2019): G20 members are making progress on mitigating climate-related financial risks
- Financial policies: 17 G20 countries have initiated discussions or are already implementing some form of green finance principles (except India, Saudi Arabia and South Korea)
- Fossil fuel subsidies: G20 countries directed USD 130bn in subsidies to coal, oil, and gas in 2019 (excluding Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UK)
- Carbon pricing: 18 G20 countries implementing explicit carbon-pricing schemes (except India and Australia) but carbon prices remain lower than required to align with Paris goals
- Public finance: 13 G20 countries partially or fully restrict coal finance (except China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa); 17 G20 members have no restrictions for oil & gas finance
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.
Railway development: lessons for the EU
This paper analyses how EU railway policy for a low-carbon future can be enhanced, drawing insights from Japan and Switzerland.
Ramping up energy storage: lessons for the EU
This paper explores how the EU can enhance its policy for a low-carbon future by learning from successful energy storage approaches in California, South Korea, and Australia.