US, Australia failed to act against domestic emissions: Report
Marrakech, Nov 17 (IANS) Six G20 countries — including the US, Australia and Canada — have failed to take action on domestic emissions reduction in line with their Paris Agreement pledges, while Germany, France and China are among those that did it, a new study said here on Thursday.
These six G20 countries are “either behind on meeting their 2020 targets or have not set any,” said the report, “Assessing the Consistency of National Mitigation Actions in the G20 with the Paris Agreement”, published by two international institutes.
The report released at the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the other G20 defaulting countries.
The publishers of the report are the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The report by Alina Averchenkova and Sini Matikainen says these six countries “lack overall framework legislation or regulation on climate change, and need to move from sectoral to economy-wide targets and extend the time-frame of their targets to 2030”.
However, six other G20 countries — Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy and Britain — together with the European Union as a bloc were found to have undertaken action that is “either completely or mostly consistent with the key requirements of the Paris Agreement”.
The results from the “Paris consistency monitor” are based on an assessment of past and present actions by G20 countries against three indicators.
The indicators are consistency of domestic emissions reductions targets with those pledged in nationally-determined contributions, progress towards meeting 2020 emissions reduction targets pledged under the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun Agreements, and past performance in ratcheting up the ambition for climate change mitigation, said the authors.
An accompanying detailed study of climate change policies in the European Union, China and the US examined some of the key drivers, including economic factors, institutional settings and features of the political systems, as well as the role of public opinion, interest groups and party politics.
The report on “Climate Policy in China, the European Union and the United States: Main Drivers and Prospects for the Future”, was released jointly on Thursday by both institutes in collaboration with think-tank Bruegel.
The report draws attention to challenges for the US arising from this month’s presidential election.
“For the US, bottom-up action by cities or states could help ratchet up ambition at the federal level. A few proactive states should champion more ambitious US climate policy. However, this seems unlikely to happen under the recently-elected Donald Trump,” it said.
Earlier, US-based environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in its report released here pointed out that the G20 countries continue pumping billions in overseas coal development, undermining the landmark Paris Agreement and clean energy deployment.
Over the past nine years, the G20 countries — led by China, Japan, Germany, South Korea and the US — have kicked in $76 billion to further coal development in countries such as Vietnam, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia, it said.
In Paris last December, nearly 200 countries agreed to slash their dependence on fossil fuels in a concerted effort to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial level in order to avoid a climate crisis.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to the rise in global temperatures.
(Vishal Gulati is in Marrakech at the invitation of the Global Editors Network to cover COP 22. He can be contacted at email@example.com)