UN: World’s climate pledges keep door open to 2°C limit

Nations can cost effectively meet their target of keeping the global temperature rise under 2°C. That’s according to a report released by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Nations can cost effectively meet their target of keeping the global temperature rise under 2°C.

That’s according to a report released by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which analysed climate plans of 146 countries that represent 86% of global emissions.

They are known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) which the UN believes can “dramatically” slow global emissions.

The INDCs will bring global average emissions per capita down by as much as 8% by 2025 and 9% by 2030, the report stated.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC said: “These INDCs – or national climate action plans – represent a clear and determined down payment on a new era of climate ambition from the global community of nations. Governments from all corners of the Earth have signalled through their INDCs that they are determined to play their part according to their national circumstances and capabilities.”

The report comes ahead of the COP21 conference in Paris when Ms Figueres hopes a climate agreement will be achieved.

She added: “Fully implemented, these plans together begin to make a significant dent in the growth of greenhouse gas emissions: as a floor they provide a foundation upon which ever higher ambition can be built. I am confident that these INDCs are not the final word in what countries are ready to do and achieve over time – the journey to a climate safe  -future is underway and the Paris agreement to be inked in Paris can confirm and catalyse that transition.”

David Nussbaum WWF-UK’s chief executive believes the UK Government hasn’t “finished its homework” yet towards Paris and needs to make some changes ahead of the climate summit.

He added: “The government needs to announce the phase out of dirty coal by 2023 and build a world leading renewable energy sector. Our cleantech firms have shown their potential. Britain could be a world leader in renewable energy, if government provides the clarity and consistency for investors to fund sustained growth.”