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2100-warming as a function of national 2030-emissions

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The warming assessment of countries’ pledges reflect the warming expected in 2100 with only a median (>50%) likelihood, compared to pre-industrial levels. The underlying emissions scenarios may therefore result in a temporary overshoot of the warming assessment. The countries’ warming assessments presented here should therefore be considered as a minimum to achieve a warming goal, and countries’ pledges in line only with a 2 °C warming are therefore not be consistent with the Paris Agreement goals. Only countries with pledges leading to a 2100-warming below 1.5 °C could be in line with the Paris Agreement goals of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C’.

The relationship between the 2100 global warming and the national 2030-emissions relies on a range of global emissions scenarios. The underlying global emissions scenarios and methods are available here.

Emissions from land use (LULUCF emissions) are not included since no universal accounting method of positive or negative LULUCF emissions is currently in place and since they are not considered by all parties as part of the emissions scope to be negotiated.

Emissions trajectories to stay below 2°C and 1.5°C

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The national emissions scenarios provided here result from the hybrid allocation where each country uses the least-stringent of three equity allocations (historical responsibility, capability or equality) applied to a 2°C-scenario and 1.5°C-scenario. The 2°C-scenario features a likely (>66%) chance to stay below 2°C over the century and a median (>50%) chance to be below 1.7°C in 2100. The 1.5°C-scenario features a median chance to be below 1.5°C in 2100 and allow a potential overshoot of 1.5°C before. Securing a likely chance to stay below 1.5°C of warming requires greater mitigation efforts, compared to the trajectories presented here. The underlying global emissions scenarios and methods are available here.

The 2030-values of these national emissions trajectories may differ from the values provided in the first graphic above, which relies on a range of global emissions scenarios. This difference illustrate the difference in the underlying assumptions of global emissions scenarios that feature a range of 2030-emissions values for a given global warming response (more details here and here).

Emissions from land use (LULUCF emissions) are not included since no universal accounting method of positive or negative LULUCF emissions is currently in place and since they are not considered by all parties as part of the emissions scope to be negotiated.

“NDC factsheets” assessment from Malte Meinshausen & Ryan Alexander, 2015, at:
www.climate-energy-college.net/ndc-indc-factsheets.

Fairness statement contained in NDC

Description of fairness

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Description of ambition

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Description of how it contributes towards achieving the objective of the Convention

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Conditionality of the NDC

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Last updated

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Fairness statement downloaded on October 28th 2016 from:
WRI, CAIT Climate Data Explorer. 2016. CAIT Paris Contributions Map. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. (http://cait.wri.org/indcs/).
The original NDCs and NDCs submitted so far are hosted on the UNFCCC website.

2100-warming in °C

The warming assessment of countries’ pledges reflect the warming expected in 2100 with only a median (>50%) likelihood, compared to pre-industrial levels. The underlying emissions scenarios may therefore result in a temporary overshoot of the warming assessment. The countries’ warming assessments presented here should therefore be considered as a minimum to achieve a warming goal, and countries’ pledges in line only with a 2 °C warming are therefore not be consistent with the Paris Agreement goals.

On the ‘Pledged Warming Map’, only countries with pledges leading to a 2100-warming below 1.5 °C could be in line with the Paris Agreement goals of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C’.

Ambition of pledges

Paris-Equity-Check.org assesses the ambition of countries’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), following the 2030 emissions that they imply.

In their NDC, countries make unconditional pledges and sometimes more ambitious pledges conditional on international support or additional ambition.

Some pledges contain clear quantified mitigation economy-wide targets. However, many pledges are described ambiguously and include reduction below reference trajectories, GDP and energy intensity targets. This ambiguousness results in an uncertainty regarding the quantification of the 2030-emissions implied by NDCs.

The assessment of NDCs results in a range of 2030-emissions – often a larger for developing countries. Here, the range of the NDCs emissions quantification is available as:

  • ‘Low’ ambition (with higher 2030-emissions) that reflects a pessimistic quantification of unconditional pledges.

  • ‘High’ ambition (with lower 2030-emissions) that reflects an optimistic quantification of pledges, using conditional pledges when available.

  • ‘Average’, the average of the ‘Low’ and ‘High’ quantifications.

Emissions of land-use (Land use, land-use change, and forestry - LULUCF) are included in the quantification of global warming but are not assessed as part of countries NDCs. Land-use emissions are not considered by all parties as part of the emissions scope to be negotiated. Moreover, no universal accounting method of positive or negative LULUCF emissions is currently in place. Therefore, LULUCF emissions were excluded from the global scenarios before allocating their emissions across countries. As a result, the ambition (or lack of ambition) on deforestation is not accounted here.

How much global warming is each country’s pledge leading to?

The Pledged Warming Map provides an assessment of global warming when all countries follow the ambition of a given one. This warming assessment assumes a self-interested approach of equity where each country follows the least stringent of three equity concepts (historical responsibility, capacity to pay and equality). This warming assessment reconciles the bottom-up architecture of the Paris Agreement with its top-down warming threshold.


Why using the Pledged Warming map?

With the Paris Agreement, countries committed to collectively limit global warming to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels. However, there is currently no commonly agreed effort-sharing mechanism to determine the contribution of each country. Measuring the ambition of the climate pledges, the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), requires considerations of effort-sharing driven by equity concepts and countries are requested to provide in their NDC a description of how their contribution is ‘fair and ambitious’ (these are provided under the country graphs).

The international community has long discussed the operationalization of equity following the UNFCCC principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) to drive effort-sharing and derive national emissions allocations. The failure to agree on a top–down mechanism to derive binding national emissions targets for all countries led to a bottom-up situation where countries should pledge NDCs of highest possible ambition.

The first submissions of these bottom-up NDCs do not add up to a global ambition consistent with the joint temperature goals. A five-year stocktake, starting in 2020, requires all countries to pledge enhanced actions and support. The absence of agreement on a unanimous operationalization of the CBDR-RC should not be used as an excuse for inaction and should not leave the international community without a metric reflective of current agreements to assess the ratcheting-up process.


How to use these results of the Pledged Warming Map?

Taking stock of NDCs and ratcheting-up ambition

The warming metric used in this website relies on a combination of equity concept where each country follows the least-stringent equity approach (from capability, historical responsibility or equality). This hybrid combination reflects the bottom-up pledge-and-review architecture of the Paris Agreement provides a warming assessment of countries’ NDCs. The results can inform the ratchetting-up process on the ambition of current emissions targets without hypothesizing an international agreement on a single approach of equity. The emissions trajectories can be used by experts and decision makers to derive emissions targets in line with the Paris Agreement mitigation goals.

Climate cases

This hybrid combination of countries’ least-stringent equity approaches is also relevant to climate cases where the court only rules for the least-ambitious end of an equity-based range.

The multiplicity of equity concepts results in a wide range of emissions allocations for countries and regions that is sometimes used as an uncertainty range by non-experts. In a recent climate case, the District Court of The Hague ruled that the Dutch government has to reduce 2020 emissions to at least the least-ambitious end of the range recommended by the IPCC-AR4 for the Annex I country group based on multiple equity allocations from 16 studies. The court did not pick an approach of equity and ruled for the minimum effort consistent with international treaties in light of commonly reviewed science. While the multiplication of climate litigations cases against governments can contribute to the ratcheting-up process, systematic court decisions that governments must follow the least-ambitious end of an equity range would be insufficient to achieve the Paris Agreement. The trajectories presented here follow the least-stringent equity concept for each country individually but are collectively consistent with the Paris Agreement warming thresholds. Using the trajectories presented here to derive emissions target and phase-out dates enables to conform with the ambition of the Paris Agreement without selecting and applying a universal concept for all countries.

More information in the underlying peer-reviewed study.