Biden’s net-zero emissions 2050 pledge brings Paris accord’s 1.5˚C target at tipping point

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Biden's net-zero emissions 2050 pledge brings Paris accord's 1.5˚C target at tipping point - We The World
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

If the climate goal set by Presidential-elect Joe Biden to reduce the net-zero emissions by 2050 manifests as planned, the world could cut 0.1˚C off global warming by the fall of the century, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, the Climate Action Tracker predicts.

The prediction assessed, if the climate change policies bear fruit under the Biden administration, they would chop off 75 Gt CO2eq which is translated to a decrease of one-degree Celsius by 2100, the report says.

The prediction is important since one of the highlighting aspects of Joe Biden’s campaign for the 2020 Presidential Election was an emphasis on tightening the nation’s slipping grip on climate change policies which were meddled more under the Trump Administration.

The report says Joe Biden’s 2050 goal, coupled with China’s pledge to reduce emissions by 2060, boosted by similar goals by the EU, Japan, and South Korea for 2050 will collectively bring the tipping point of 1.5˚C limit of the Paris Accord within reach.

Both China and the US are the world’s most and the second-most greenhouse gas emitting nations as per Investopedia, and a markable reduction in emissions by these two nations will theoretically propel the tipping point of the Paris Accord closer to reach.

“Taken together, the US and China going to net zero emissions would reduce our estimate of end-of-century warming to 2.3-2.4°C, taking the world 25-40% of the way towards limiting warming to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5oC limit,” said Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute, a Climate Action Tracker partner organization.

“This could be a historic tipping point: with Biden’s election China, the USA, EU, Japan, South Korea – two-thirds of the world economy and over 50% of global GHG emissions – would have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century commitments,” Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, the other CAT partner organization said in a statement.

“These commitments are very close, if not within, 1.5 degree C-consistent pathways for this set of countries and for the first time ever put the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C limit within striking distance.”

The report noted the flurry of nations pledging to target net-zero emissions by 20150 is overwhelming at this point and the USA added to the growing list would cover 63% of global emissions under the pledge.

“What can other countries now do other than follow this overwhelming trend to net zero greenhouse gas emissions?” Höhne said.

The report also comes after Joe Biden said that one of the first things he’d do to undo the steps taken by the Trump Administration will be to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement, which the US formally exited this month amid the erratic elections.

Incumbent US President Donald Trump cited the loss of jobs, hindrance in the nation’s coal, gas, and oil manufacturing industries, and the need for trillions of dollars to implement, as reasons for withdrawal from the Paris agreement.

“We are loyal to our friends that we keep our word, including when we make commitments, be it to NATO or to the Paris agreement that we will follow through,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said at an event from California, We The World reported.

If the progress is made as Biden said, the US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord will be short-lived, experts are expressing. The UN has already conveyed it was ready to start processing the US inclusion at any time.

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed in 2015 by over 190 nations, was a pledge to: “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

But like every other possibility, there remains a counter-possibility, and in this case, Biden’s ambitious climate goals are challenged by the majority of the US Senate.

But it must be noted, under the Trump administration’s retrieval of efforts to save the planet, and under the lack of any meaningful policies to tackle climate change, many state governors have ramped up pledges to curb emissions under their aegis, including by some noteworthy corporates.

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