Researchers have found that 90% of global net zero pledges have a low likelihood of coming to fruition.
The study conducted by Imperial College London claims that the only way to ensure targets are met is to make them legally binding.
More ambitious policies are needed, the authors stress, as with current aims and no implementation of net zero pledges, the world’s temperatures could rise by up to 3°C by 2100.
Net zero targets of 35 countries were assessed, covering every nation that produces at least 0.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK, New Zealand and EU managed to gain a high vote of confidence from the analysts but 90% fell into the low confidence category.
This included the US and China, which together make up 35% of global emissions.
Lead researcher Professor Joeri Rogelj said: “Climate policy is moving from setting ambitious targets to implementing them. However, our analysis shows most countries do not provide high confidence that they will deliver on their commitments. The world is still on a high-risk climate track and we are far from delivering a safe climate future.”
Out of the 35 policies examined, just 12 are legally binding and the study warns that this may be the only way to ensure their progress does not fall by the wayside.
“We need to see concrete legislation in order to trust that action will follow from promises,” co-author Dr Robin Lamboll added.