A recent report from Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has highlighted that many of the world’s most polluting countries are not making sufficient progress in reducing carbon emissions from their energy sectors to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The failure to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power generation is a major obstacle to reaching the targets set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
CAT assessed the progress made by countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, and the United States, and found that none of them were on track to meet the necessary targets. The report’s lead author, Neil Grant, noted that despite the availability of wind and solar expansion opportunities, governments continue to delay phasing out fossil fuels, even though the future of these industries is predicted to decline rapidly.
According to CAT, developed nations need to phase out coal by 2030 and “unabated” fossil gas by 2035 to achieve a clean power sector by 2040. Developing nations should follow suit by 2040. Additionally, all countries must derive more than 80 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2035, and between 90 and 100 percent by 2050, in order to meet CAT’s benchmarks.
The report also highlighted concerns about a “spree” of permits for new coal plants in China, despite a decrease in the number of planned facilities globally. Only Britain was found to be on track to meet one of the targets, as it plans to phase out coal by 2024. The EU, Germany, Chile, and South Africa were noted as making positive strides towards reducing carbon emissions.
The CAT report emphasized that the targets set by the United States and Britain for decarbonizing their power sectors by 2035 align with the 1.5C goal but emphasized that both countries need to take more substantial action to achieve these targets. Furthermore, the report stated that the transition to renewable energy is not happening quickly enough, posing a significant challenge to phasing out fossil fuels.
It is worth noting that while some nations advocate for carbon capture and storage technologies as a solution, CAT warns that this could divert attention from the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. The group also stressed that developing nations require substantial financial aid to transition off fossil fuels and that current initiatives are insufficient.
Overall, the report highlights the lack of progress in reducing carbon emissions from the energy sectors of the most polluting countries, indicating the need for more ambitious actions to combat climate change.
– Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report