Climate Change

No G20 member is on track to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees

No G20 global warming by 1.5 degrees

Photo: Climate Transparency


November 24, 2020






November 24, 2020





The G20 vowed at the latest gathering to work on tackling climate change and “building a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive future,” but current policies aren’t compliant with the Paris Agreement goal to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100.

At their annual summit in Riyadh, the Group of 20 most developed and emerging economies committed to addressing the climate change issue. However, data from the Climate Transparency Report show none of the G20 members is set to contribute to limiting the rise in global temperature by less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

“Preventing environmental degradation, conserving, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity, preserving our oceans, promoting clean air and clean water, responding to natural disasters and extreme weather events, and tackling climate change are among the most pressing challenges of our time. As we recover from the pandemic, we are committed to safeguarding our planet and building a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive future for all people,” the 19 countries and the European Union said.

Brazil is in the lead according to the projection for the decrease in power sector emissions this year, followed by Germany

They failed to reach consensus on climate change in the three previous gatherings. After the Riyadh summit, the G20 vowed to reduce emissions and support the use of technology in infrastructure to promote quality infrastructure investments for the delivery of better social, economic and environmental outcomes.

The participants announced they would work on sustainability in the food and agriculture sectors and water management.

There is still chance for EU if it adopts more ambitious policy

The Climate Transparency Report still highlights the possibility that the European Union would agree to target a 55% or 60% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and move it closer to the climate change mitigation goal.

Brazil is in the lead according to the projection for power sector emissions this year, with a drop of 16.1%, followed by Germany (15.4%). France fares the worst, seen with a rise of 6.2%, though the change was attributed to an increase in fossil fuel combustion due to nuclear plant maintenance.

China came in second from the bottom, as it is expected to lower emissions by only 0.1% in 2020. Still, the overall G20 results must be considered in the light of the coronavirus pandemic and the drop in electricity consumption.

G20 global warming on track
Photo: Projected change in energy consumption and sectoral emissions in the G20 for 2020 (Enerdata, Climate Transparency)

Turkey is far behind Paris Agreement goal

The drop in Turkey, the only country in the region that Balkan Green Energy News tracks, is estimated at 6.3%, placing it in the lower half of the list. It would need to reduce its emissions to below 365 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 and to below 226 megatons by 2050 to be within its emissions allowances under a “fair-share” range compatible with global 1.5 degrees Celsius – from the Paris Agreement.

China and Turkey have the biggest coal power capacity plans in the world

The government’s 2030 national emissions reduction target is 21% below what it calls a business-as-usual scenario, which is 999 megatons of CO2 equivalent. As of July, the country had 32 GW of new coal power capacity planned. The only country in the world with more than what Turkey has in the pipeline is China, the report shows.

G20 limit global warming 1.5 degrees
Photo: Projected change in G20 GDP and energy-related CO2 emissions for 2020 (Enerdata, Climate Transparency)

EU provides biggest green stimulus

Turkey is the second-worst by the projected drop in energy-related emissions this year from fuel combustion, slightly more than 3%, while China again has the lowest ranking, with a reduction under 3%. Russia is the lowest in the terms of the index of green financial stimulus per capita, followed by Turkey.

The EU, France and the United Kingdom are ranked highest, in that order, in the greenness stimulus indicator. As for the expected change in energy-related CO2 emissions, Mexico is on the path to register a drop of more than 12%. The UK is in second place, with nearly 12%.

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