In this briefing, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) estimates global warming by 2100 to be at an all-time low of 2.4°C. Due to recent climate action announcements at President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, together with those announced since September 2020, have improved the CAT’s global warming estimate by 0.2°C. This emissions gap needs to be closed with further NDC target updates this year and targets have yet to be supported by ambitious policies.
Leaders’ Summit on Climate creates new momentum on climate action
Climate action announcements at US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, together with those announced since September last year, have improved the Climate Action Tracker’s warming estimate by 0.2°C. End of century warming from these Paris Agreement pledges and targets is now estimated to be 2.4°C.
Assuming full implementation of the net zero targets by the US, China and other countries that have announced or are considering such targets, but have not yet submitted them to the UNFCCC, global warming by 2100 could be as low as 2.0°C (‘Optimistic Targets’ scenario). 131 countries, covering 73% of global GHG emissions, have adopted or are considering net zero targets (up by four since our last assessment). However, it is the updated 2030 NDC targets, rather than the additional countries, that contribute the most to the drop in projected warming compared to our last estimate, highlighting the importance of stronger near-term targets.
While all of these developments are welcome, warming based on the targets and pledges, even under the most optimistic assumptions, is still well above the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C temperature limit. The emissions gap in 2030 between Paris pledges and targets and pathways compatible with 1.5°C has narrowed by around 11-14% (2.6-3.9 GtCO2e).
The largest contributions came from the US, the EU27, China and Japan.
This emissions gap needs to be closed with further NDC target updates this year. NDC updates need to continue in advance of the COP in Glasgow. Those countries that have not improved their targets need to rethink: Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. All targets have yet to be supported by ambitious policies. Our temperature estimate of all adopted national policies (‘current policies’ scenario) is 2.9°C.