April 8, 2015
The EU has transmitted its climate objectives and strategy in view of the Paris Climate Conference in early December. It was one of the few, together with Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, USA and Russia to have respected the date of 31st March by which all countries that felt ready should have sent their INDCS, (“intended nationally determined contributions”).
The EU was not only ahead in timing but, much more important, in the substance of the offer: a reduction of emissions by 40 per cent until 2030 over 1990, with the intention to go to at least 80 per cent by 2050, combined with a policy mix (renewable energies, automatic reduction of emissions under the ETS, energy efficiency and tough emission standards for motor vehicles) to reach these goals.
However exemplary the EU offer may be, it will not impress the the international community, and worse, it will not impact on the climate considering the declining EU share (11 per cent) of global emissions.
The future of the global climate will hinge on USA and China which jointly account for 44 per cent. They have been among the worst perpetrators of climate destruction to the huge damn of their own people and almost six billion human on earth. Both are hampered by short-sighted political elites, the US Republican and Chinese Communist parties, backed by powerful coal lobbies.
The US promised contributions are absolutely inadequate: 28 per cent emission reductions between 2005 and 2025 for the second biggest emitter country with one of the highest per capita emissions on earth lack global political responsibility.
China has not yet communicated its objectives for 2030; but it will hardly go beyond the November 2014 deal with US under which it promised to peak its emissions latest by 2030.
Russia, the fifth biggest emitter country with a share of five per cent, has not submitted a satisfactory offer either. It aims at reducing its emissions by 25-30 per cent between 1990 and 2030 without indicating how to do so and how much of this would be due to maintaining its huge forests.
In conclusion, eight months before the Paris conference the outlook is bleak.
There will not be enough time to seriously discuss the disparate offers. The risk is great that the conference will again divert to secondary issues like adaption and climate fund with having reached satisfactory results on the core question o mitigation
China must start reducing its emissions as soon as 2020.
USA must change the base line of its offer to 1990 to be comparable to other countries.
The UN must urgently invite the 150 odd non-reporting countries to communicate their INDCS no later than June 30 and call a review meeting early July..
Brussels 01.04 2015 Eberhard RheinAuthor : Eberhard Rhein