World nations to announce carbon targets by end of month

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 13 Jan 2010 21:59
Countries to soon announce their carbon reduction efforts

Countries are to come forward with their national 2020 carbon reduction targets by January 31, under agreements made in the Copenhagen Accord.

The Accord – noted by the COP15 plenary – includes provisions for developed and developing countries to list their commitments to cut emissions, and requires countries to lodge their commitments in the agreement by January 31.

The Accord is the very first time that developed and developing countries have agreed to make specific commitments to tackle emissions.

Countries are expected to come forward with their mitigation offers between now and January 31 – representing a window for continued global mitigation action.

Despite frustrations over the outcome, Copenhagen helped create momentum for a global deadline on climate mitigation, and throughout 2009, many countries came forward with their own targets.

In critical research led by Lord Stern and announced as the Copenhagen negotiations begun, it is estimated that in order to have a reasonable chance, or 50 per cent probability, of avoiding a rise in global temperature of more than 2˚C, annual global emissions of greenhouse gases in 2020 need to be no more than 44 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide-equivalent.

Lord Stern has shown that if nations make the biggest emissions cuts in the range they have put forward, we can be within striking distance of the two degree pathway that we need, including the peaking of global emissions by 2020.

The following are some of the targets were put on the table in the lead up to Copenhagen.

* EU: 20% reduction by 2020 on 1990 levels, with conditional increase to 30%

* Australia: 5% (unconditional) 15% (with conditions) or 25% (with stringent conditions) below 2000 levels, by 2020

* Brazil: voluntary offer to reduce emissions by 38-42% by 2020. Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change includes ambitious forestry measures, including a target to cut illegal deforestation by over 70% by 2017. This was recently extended to 80% by 2020

* Canada -20% on 2006 by 2020 (-3% on 1990)

* China: reduce carbon intensity by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020Japan: 15% below 2005 levels (equivalent to 8% below 1990 levels) to -25% below 1990 levels, contingent on a successful Copenhagen outcome.

* South Africa: 32% cut on business as usual by 2020, 42% cut by 2025.

* South Korea: unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 4% below 2005 levels by 2020. (Highest ambition scenario out of three potential scenarios Korea earlier proposed).

* Russia: 20-25% below 1990 levels by 2020

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