The good, the bad and the ugly: The nations leading and failing on climate action

phys.org | 7/17/2019 | Staff
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It is almost five years since the landmark Paris deal was struck. Nearly 200 countries agreed to work towards limiting global warming to 1.5℃, beyond which the planet is expected to slide irreversibly towards devastating climate change impacts.

But few nations are on track to reaching this goal. Right now, we're heading to warming above 3℃ by 2100—and this will have catastrophic consequences for the planet.

United - Nations - Secretary-General - António - Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called a major climate summit in New York on September 23, where countries are expected to announce more ambitious climate targets than they set in Paris, and solid plans to achieve them.

Ahead of the summit, let's take stock of the world's best and worst performers when it comes to tackling the climate emergency.

Climate - Action - Tracker - Analysis - Research

The Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis produced by two research organizations tracking climate action since 2009. It monitors 32 countries, accounting for more than 80% of global emissions.

We looked in detail at who has made the most progress since 2015, and who has done the least. Australia sits firmly in the group of governments we labeled as actually delaying global climate action, alongside the United States (which under President Donald Trump has walked away from the Paris agreement altogether).

Countries - Climate - Action - Targets - Progress

Other countries delaying global climate action with highly insufficient targets and no progress since 2015 are the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia.

Today, Australia's emissions are at a seven-year high, and continue to rise. The government's commitment to fossil fuels remains unwavering—from coal projects such as Adani's proposed Carmichael mine in Queensland to huge new gas projects.

Australia - World - Exporter - Coal - %

Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal, providing 29% of coal's global trade, and last year also became the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Its exported fossil fuel emissions currently represent around 3.6% of...
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