Looking for a glimmer of hope on the horizon of the UN`s poignant climate report? We can determine the effects of climate change through the political, economic and social choices we make today. INDCs become NDCs – Nationally Determined Contributions – once a country formally accedes to the agreement. There are no specific requirements on how countries should reduce their emissions or to what extent, but there have been political expectations regarding the nature and severity of the targets set by different countries. As a result, national plans vary considerably in scope and ambition, largely reflecting each country`s capacities, level of development and contribution to emissions over time. China, for example, has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030 at the latest and to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60 to 65 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. India has set a target of reducing emissions intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels and producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Warmer temperatures – both on land and at sea – are changing global weather patterns and changing how and where precipitation falls. These changing patterns exacerbate dangerous and deadly droughts, heat waves, floods, wildfires and storms, including hurricanes. They also melt ice caps, glaciers, and permafrost layers, which can lead to sea level rise and coastal erosion. Warmer temperatures also affect entire ecosystems, unbalancing migration patterns and life cycles.
For example, early spring can cause trees and plants to bloom before bees and other pollinators have emerged. While global warming can lead to longer growing seasons and higher food production in some areas, areas already struggling with water scarcity are expected to become drier, creating a risk of drought, crop failures or wildfires. However, at COP 24 or 25, the parties were unable to agree on the details of the implementation of Article 6 of the agreement, which deals with the use of carbon markets, and postponed these decisions to COP 26. While the Paris Agreement ultimately aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century, numerous studies evaluating each country`s voluntary commitments in Paris show that the cumulative effect of these emission reductions will not be large enough to keep temperatures below this ceiling. In fact, the targets set by countries are expected to limit the future temperature increase to 2.7 to 3.7 degrees Celsius. At the same time, recent assessments of countries` performance in the context of their Paris climate goals suggest that some countries are already failing to meet their commitments. Previous commitments could raise global temperatures by up to 2.7°C, but the agreement sets out a roadmap to accelerate progress. The EU`s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement was the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 within the broader climate and energy framework by 2030. All key EU legislation to achieve this goal has been adopted by the end of 2018. Based solely on the current climate commitments of the Paris Agreement, temperatures are expected to have risen by 3.2°C by the end of the 21st century, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
To limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C, annual emissions must be below 25 gigatons (Gt) by 2030. With the current commitments of November 2019, emissions will be 56 Gt CO2e by 2030, twice as much as the environmental target. To limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C, the annual reduction in global emissions required between 2020 and 2030 is an annual reduction in emissions of 7.6%. The four largest emitters (China, the United States, eu27 and India) have contributed more than 55% of total emissions over the past decade, excluding emissions from land-use change such as deforestation. China`s emissions increased by 1.6% in 2018 to a peak of 13.7 Gt CO2 equivalent. The United States emits 13% of global emissions and emissions increased by 2.5% in 2018. The EU emits 8.5% of global emissions and has fallen by 1% per year over the last decade. Emissions decreased by 1.3% in 2018. India`s 7% of global emissions increased by 5.5% in 2018, but its per capita emissions are among the lowest in the G20.  Although both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement aim to combat climate change, there are some important differences between them. In 2013, COP 19 in Warsaw called on parties to submit their “Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) to the Paris Agreement well in advance of COP 21. .