- To achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early.
- To lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60% to 65% from the 2005 level.
- To increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%.
- To increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic meters on the 2005 level.
- A binding target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.
- Individual parties to communicate their own INDCs by 2015.
While the Chinese government has exerted its unilateral control to implement policy changes, the EU has taken a market approach. One way it has done this is through the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which caps the level of carbon emissions that can be produced by industry within a country. Emissions credits can then be bought and sold by companies allowing them to either raise their limit if necessary or to take advantage of their low emissions. The idea behind this is that EU-wide emissions targets can be met while allowing flexibility of manufacturers that struggle to meet stringent guidelines. But the system has come under scrutiny for failing to produce the declines necessary to meet the 40% target; not least from the EU legislative bodies themselves, which as of 2017 are hoping to crack down on oversupply and devaluation of emissions credits by increasing the rate at which the overall emissions cap is lowered, from 1.74% to 2.2%. Even the EU therefore recognises the inadequacy of the systems currently in place – even assuming the cooperation of member states – for achieving its flagship 2030 goal.
- To reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 33%–35% by 2030 below 2005 levels.
- To achieve about 40% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF).
- To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
The weaknesses of the Paris Climate Agreement are evident in the lack of significant alterations to the mid-term strategies of parties like China, the EU and India in the wake of its introduction. With countries able to set their own targets, the temptation to produce NDCs that don’t require any ambitious changes in policy seems to have proved too great in many cases. For this reason the CAT rates the efforts of most countries as at least ‘insufficent’ – India being an exception, needing to achieve much less to make a fair contribution to global climate efforts due to the relatively low levels of emissions per capita it needs to negate. Although only two years have past since Paris, making it perhaps too early to lament a lack of change, the inadequacy of some of the biggest polluter’s NDCs is real cause for concern.
More information and nice graphs from the CAT available on their website (http://climateactiontracker.org/) than you can shake a stick at, as well as other relevant articles and papers below:
- Barry, E. & Bagri, N.T. (4 December 2014). "Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Pares Back Environmental Rules". The New York Times.
- Clark, A. (22 May 2017) “China’s environmental clean-up to have big effect on industry” FT.
- Gleeson-White (10 September 2017) “My job is to clean up the environment, and China really wants that” The Guardian.
- Kothari, Ashish (27 September 2014). "A Hundred Days Closer to Ecological and Social Suicide" Economic & Political Weekly. 49 (39).
- Safi, M. (22 December 2016) “India plans nearly 60% of energy capacity from non-fossils fuels by 2027” The Guardian.
- Wang, Q. & Li, R. (2017) “Decline in China’s coal consumption: An evidence of peak coal or a temporary blip?” Energy Policy 108: 696-701.