An overview of the INDCs for COP21

MindTheCover_alt4-page-001As of 17/10/2015 total of 123 submissions are now posted on United Nations (n.d.) covering 152 countries and 90% of current global emissions (RTCC, 2015). This is up from 23 submissions on 18/8/2015. Note that the EU is covered by a single submission. The major additional submissions are from India and Brazil so all the major economies/emitters have now submitted. Boyd et al (2015) suggest this will lead to emissions of 56.9 to 59.1 Gt CO2e in 2030 compared to a target of 36 Gt CO2e.

India (5.7% of 2012 emissions) has, as expected, submitted on a reduction of emissions by 33-35% per unit of GDP based on the 2005 level by 2030 and is proposing a re-forestation programme to act as a carbon sink. Brazil (5.7% of 2012 emissions) is targeting a 37% reduction on 2005 levels by 2025.

Many of the more recent submissions are from poorer countries submitting reductions compared with ‘business as usual’ scenarios (RTCC, 2015). These are very hard to judge and almost certainly anticipate overall increase of emissions over the timeframe suggested. Armenia is the first country to submit a per capita target. Several countries (for example South Africa) have signalled that they want international support (presumably money). Actual submissions can be viewed at United Nations (n.d.) while Carbon Brief Staff (2015) are blogging on country submissions as they come in. Climate Action Tracker (n.d.) has more detailed analyses of many of the submissions. Carbon Brief Staff (2015) have created a useful summary spreadsheet.

At the end of June Ban Ki Moon (secretary general of the United Nations) expressed his frustration at lack of progress (Goldenburg, 2015). Also many submissions fall far short of hopes. The USA and China in particular made an apparently bold joint proposal (Hope, 2014) which, while an improvement over no agreed targets, appears to fall far short of what’s needed.

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