Projected warming of Paris accord drops after US summit: CAT

Kolkata, India: The projected global warming by the end of the century that the Paris accord sought to halt has further plummeted by 0.2 C following a government announcement of measures to counteract climate change, Climate Action Tracker said Tuesday. 

Following President Joe Biden's Summit held at the end of April where over 40 world leaders attended the meet virtually, the goal of the Paris Climate Accord now stands at 2.4˚C -- a considerable improvement in reversing the scheduled end-of-century warming of the planet. 

The estimated warming from the “optimistic scenario,” which assumes complete adoption of all net-zero goals, has been reduced to 2.0 degrees Celsius, following the April Summit. 

While the number of countries implementing or considering net-zero goals has increased to 131, accounting for 73% of global GHG emissions, it is the revised Paris Agreement 2030 targets, rather than the additional countries, that contribute the most to the decrease in expected warming relative to the CAT's 2.1 C "optimistic scenario" in the December update, the report says. 

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The biggest driving factors of the drop in projected rise of temperature are the climate pledges from China, EU27, Japan, and the US. Although it must be noted, China and Japan have not yet formally submitted a new 2030 target to the UNFCCC.

As per CAT's report, Canada announced a new goal, South Africa is conducting public consultations on an increased target, Argentina has announced a further improvement of the target it submitted last December, and the United Kingdom has announced a stronger 2035 target.

Despite the fact that leaders from India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey spoke at the US summit, none of them announced more aggressive NDCs. This year, South Korea, New Zealand, Bhutan, and Bangladesh have all pledged to send more robust NDCs.

Australia, on the other hand, made a 'vague commitment' to reaching net-zero at an unspecified date but didn’t update its 2030 target. Brazil propelled its climate neutrality goal but has changed its baseline, making its 2030 target weaker.

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“It is clear the Paris Agreement is driving change, spurring governments into adopting stronger targets, but there is still some way to go, especially given that most governments don’t yet have policies in place to meet their pledges,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of the CAT partner organizations.

“Our warming estimate from current policies is 2.9˚C - still nearly twice what it should be, and governments must urgently step up their action.”

Modified NDCs have been submitted by just over 40% of the countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement, representing about half of the global emissions and a third of the world's population. The 2030 emissions gap between Paris pledges and a 1.5°C pathway has been narrowed by 11-14 percent, according to the CAT's final estimates.

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The transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is unstoppable, and the long-term goals are admirable, said Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute, the second CAT partner. 

“Global emissions can still be halved in the next 10 years as expected by the Paris Agreement if all governments go into emergency mode and propose and introduce further short-term action." 

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