The current state of global climate policies has the world on a path to 3.0˚C of warming by 2100, twice the 1.5˚C limit agreed upon in Paris three years ago, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s annual update which was published on Wednesday at the COP24 United Nations climate change talks currently underway in Katowice, Poland.
According to the Climate Action Tracker’s latest update, current warming in 2018 has reached 1˚C and, while current pledges and targets are currently leading us to a 3˚C warming, current actual policies in place have the world on track to warming of 3.3˚C by 2100.
“Two months ago the world received a strong message from the scientific community – that it’s possible to keep warming to 1.5˚C,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of three organizations behind the Climate Action Tracker, along with NewClimate Institute and Ecofys. “But we have yet to see this translate into action in terms of what governments are prepared to put on the table.”
There exists at play across numerous countries an unnerving duality. CAT has detected real movement in a number of countries which, if put in to practice and expanded to other countries, could actually begin to make an impact on global emissions. But, of the 32 countries CAT follows, no government has yet increased its commitments to the Paris Agreement.
“We are seeing a stirring of new climate policies in the real world: if this were extended and scaled up, these combined efforts could actually begin to bend the emissions curve,” said Yvonne Deng of Ecofys, a Navigant company. “But there are some governments delaying global progress: Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, the UAE and the US, and many of these countries are beginning to see the reality of climate change impacts.”
Among the real movement CAT has witnessed are countries like Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the EU, India, and Morocco, who are all taking steps in the right direction.
On the flip side, however, there are a number of countries with no progress or movements in the opposite direction, including countries such as Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, and the UAE. The United States, similarly classed, is nevertheless seeing some bright spots as coal consumption declines.