Global CO2 to hit 75pc of safe allowance by 2030
The forecast from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) factors in the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) pledged to a new global climate deal to be negotiated in Paris in December.
The world can add only 1 trillion t of cumulative CO2 emissions from 2011 to keep global average temperature rise below the 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates.
The UNFCCC has analysed the impact of INDCs from 146 countries that were submitted by 1 October. Its findings were released today. These INDCs represent 75pc of all UNFCCC parties and around 86pc of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2010.
The pledges would deliver an emissions reduction of around 3.7bn t, lowering the global total to 55bn t/yr by 2025 and 57bn t/yr in 2030, the UNFCC report said, slowing the rate of growth to 11-23pc in 2010-2030, compared with 24pc in 1990-2010. The INDCs would lower emissions by 5pc/person below 2010 levels in 2030. Although around 25pc of INDCs submitted are conditional, the UNFCCC said — some developing countries stipulate that full implementation depends on adequate financial support from the industrialised world.
And the UNFCCC does not directly assess the INDCs' implications for temperature change by the end of the century. But the INDCs would probably limit average global temperature rise to around 2.7°C, executive secretary Christiana Figueres said, which is in line with climate research group Climate Action Tracker's assessment.
This is "by no means enough", Figueres said. But it is a considerable improvement on the estimated 4-5°C or more of warming previously projected.
The UNFCCC's findings are broadly in line with independent analyses that forecast average global temperature rise below, at or above 3°C. European Commission analysis of 120 countries that submitted INDCs by 13 October predicted a 3°C rise by 2100.
The commission found that global GHG emissions will increase by 17pc above 2010 levels by 2030, to around 57bn t/yr, in line with the UNFCCC's forecast. But if conditional INDCs were enacted, emissions would peak just before 2030 at 12pc above 2010 levels, at around 54bn t/yr.
Greater action is needed, but the UNFCCC expects many nations to overachieve on their INDCs, while the mobilisation of climate finance and other forms of multilateral co-operation will intensify and accelerate countries' efforts, it said.
Figueres described the INDCs as "a foundation on which ever higher ambition can be built" and said they are "not the final word in what countries are ready to achieve over time".
But the INDCs must be backed by "financial support for developing countries, a clear long-term destination of climate neutrality in the second half of the century and a ratcheting up of ambition in a structured, transparent and timely way", she said.
The Climate Action Network coalition of non-governmental organisations has called for a revision of the INDCs to start just after the December climate talks in Paris and to be concluded by 2018 at the latest. And it wants new, improved targets in place by 2020.
It specifically urged the EU to take a leadership role in advocating an ambitious timeline for the review. And it called for the EU to develop a strong climate finance package beyond 2020. The upcoming EU finance ministers meeting on 10 November is an opportunity to define a comprehensive climate finance offer, it said.
The UNFCCC will publish its report — Climate Action Now — in November to outline to policymakers the emissions reduction potential and economic benefits of climate policies across major sectors such as energy, transport, buildings and forests.