Climate pledges: A look at what different countries are doing


With just a week to go until a crucial global warming summit begins, 170 countries have submitted pledges for greenhouse gas (GHG) curbs meant to underpin a 195-nation climate rescue pact.

Those countries account for about 93 percent of the world population and are responsible for roughly 93 percent of emissions blamed for driving dangerous levels of climate change.

The voluntary pledges, dubbed Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, are the chosen means for staying under the U.N.-agreed global warming ceiling of 2 C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

But their aggregate impact has been judged insufficient, and places the world on track for warming of closer to 3 C, according to recent analyses.

Among the top 10 emitters, here is who has promised what:

1) China — 24 percent of global GHG emissions: Envisages a peak in emissions “by around” 2030, and reducing carbon intensity (CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 60-65 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. The world’s most populous nation will boost the share of non-fossil fuel in primary energy consumption from 11.2 percent in 2014 to 20 percent, and boost the volume of CO2-absorbing forest by about 4.5 billion cu. meters.

2) United States — 15.5 percent: Has pledged a 26-28 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2025. Power plants are to cut carbon dioxide pollution by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

3) European Union — 10.8 percent of GHG: The 28-member bloc intends to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 over 1990 levels, and has set 27 percent targets for renewable energy supply and efficiency gains.

4) India — 6.4 percent: Plans to reduce carbon intensity by 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, and to generate 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by the same date.

5) Russia — 4.9 percent: Has mooted cutting emissions by 25-30 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, conditional on the pledges of other “major emitters.”

6) Japan — 2.9 percent: Has pledged a 26 percent reduction in emissions from 2013 levels by 2030, with nuclear energy — offline since the 2011 Fukushima disaster — providing 20-22 percent of electricity by then. Renewable electricity production, including hydro power, will be expanded to a 22-24 percent share, from 11 percent in 2014.

7) Brazil — 2.1 percent: Will cut emissions 37 percent by 2025 from 2005, and 43 percent by 2030.

8) Iran — 1.6 percent: Iran has made an unconditional pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 4 percent compared with a “business as usual” scenario.

In addition, Tehran said it will reduce emissions another 8 percent if it receives financial and technology support, and if what it describes as “unjust sanctions” are lifted.

9) Indonesia — 1.6 percent: A 29 percent cut in emissions by 2030 compared with what the level would have been without any action. With financial and other help, this could be raised to 41 percent.

10) Canada — 1.5 percent: Will seek to cut emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.