Energy & Environment

Analysis: No G-20 country has climate plan that meets Paris deal obligations

No country in the Group of 20 (G-20) largest industrialized nations has put forward a climate plan that would fulfill their commitments under the 2015 Paris climate accord, a new analysis finds.

The analysis, published Wednesday by the advocacy group Climate Action Tracker, covered 36 countries and the European Union, including all of the members of the G-20.

Major economies such as the U.S., Germany, Japan and the EU were deemed “insufficient” in developing a climate plan consistent with a goal of averting 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.

Others, including Brazil, China, Canada and India, were “highly insufficient” while only one G-20 country — the United Kingdom — rated as “almost sufficient.”

Gambia, a small West African country, was the only country found to have developed a climate plan consistent with the Paris agreement.

The group based its ratings on a combination of factors, including domestic targets, countries’ fair share compared to emissions output, policies and actions underway, and, where applicable, forestry and land use policies.

The report also announced a number of warning signs in major economies beyond the ratings themselves. For example, the group noted major coal pipelines in China and India, as well as no sign of a slowdown in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of gas.

“In May, after the Climate Leaders’ Summit and the Petersburg dialogue, we reported that there appeared to be good momentum with new climate action commitments, but governments then had only closed the emissions gap by up to 14 percent,” Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute said in a statement.

“But since then, there has been little to no improvement: nothing is moving. Governments have now closed the gap by up to 15%, a minimal improvement since May. Anyone would think they have all the time in the world, when in fact the opposite is the case,” Höhne added.

The Biden administration has announced a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050. The EU, meanwhile, has set a goal of cutting carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030, outpacing the goals of the U.S. and China, the two biggest emitters. However, the report specifically faults the EU for committing to expand its gas infrastructure amid these steps.

Energy & Environment