Global update: Paris Agreement Turning Point | Climate Action Tracker
The recent wave of net zero targets has put the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C within striking distance.
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has calculated that global warming by 2100 could be as low as 2.1°C as a result of all the net zero pledges announced as of November 2020.
Included in our new modelling is the announcement by China in September 2020 that it intends to reach carbon neutrality before 2060, which reduces the CAT end of century warming estimate by 0.2 to 0.3°C alone.
Assuming carbon neutrality in the USA by 2050, as proposed by President-Elect Biden, would reduce warming by another 0.1°C. South Africa, Japan, South Korea and Canada have also recently announced net-zero targets. In total, 127 countries responsible for around 63% of emissions are considering or have adopted net zero targets.
Net zero targets are not enough, governments must adopt stronger 2030 targets
While 2050 net zero targets are commendable, governments must now adopt stronger 2030 targets (nationally determined contributions or NDCs) to deliver on their net zero goals, and close the remaining emissions gap to 1.5°C.
Thoughts and prayers not enough, we need real climate action.
The end of 2020 deadline to submit new and updated NDCs is fast approaching. These strengthened NDCs are critical to ensuring governments can meet their mid-century net zero targets. Governments must also develop detailed implementation plans to support these targets.
However, there remains little positive movement by governments to improve their 2030 NDC targets since Paris in 2015.
As of November 2020, no large emitter had submitted a substantially updated NDC since the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
Moreover, governments’ current policies put them on a warming trajectory of 0.8°C higher than our optimistic net zero target assessment.
Paris is driving action
It is clear the Paris Agreement is driving climate action. On the eve of its five-year anniversary, a survey of past Climate Action Tracker assessments shows that the temperature estimates for end-of-century warming have been falling for both the targets and real-world emissions projections.