Cop26 will close without a single major economy that is in line to keep global warming at 1.5 C, according to the world’s most respected climate analysis coalition.
A survey of 36 countries conducted by Climate Action Tracker shows that progress has been made in Glasgow, but not near enough to keep the world from dangerous levels of warming.
Major emitters such as Europe, the US and China have increased their ambitions compared to two years ago, but their promises of emission reductions remain insufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Other nations, including Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, remain so far off course that they are pushing the planet toward 4C above pre-industrial levels.
The combined effect of the countries’ 2030 promises and long-term goals will put the world on track for global warming of 2.1C by 2100.
This represents a step forward, albeit with reservations. When Climate Action Tracker began analyzing the effects of goals and promises in 2009, it estimated that the world was heading for 3.5 degree heat. When the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2016, this had dropped to 2.8C.
After Donald Trump took power and began reversing US climate policy, the global outlook worsened to 3.2C. Progress in Glasgow, however, has brought it down to its lowest point, albeit still dangerously outside the scope of the Paris Agreement, with time running out, and heavily dependent on long-term political promises that may or may not be fulfilled.
A tougher assessment, which only looks at the effects of short-term 2030 targets, predicts that the world is heading for a catastrophic warming of 2.4 degrees – a figure that made headlines earlier this week.
The impact of Glasgow will not be determined by these projections. If negotiators can agree on a final declaration, it should force nations to take more ambitious action. The only metric that matters is whether emissions start to decline over the next few years.
Source: Climate Action Tracker and the World Bank. All EU countries are assessed together. India’s rating reflects India’s first NDC: If submitted, the announced NDC update will be rated as “insufficient”. Brazil’s rating reflects Brazil’s first NDC: its updated NDC submitted on October 31 is not yet included in the CAT analysis.