Country targets to date
Brazil's offer on 10 November to reduce its carbon emissions by 38-42% by 2020 is just one of a growing number of country targets offered by both rich and poor countries ahead of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen next month.
Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's chief of staff, said that her country's intervention was a 'political gesture' aimed at pressing rich nations into agreeing to large cuts in carbon.
In order to keep temperature rise to below 2 degrees, the IPCC has recommended that developed countries set targets of 25-40% on 1990 levels by 2020.
Countries coming forward now with their mitigation targets shows commitment to domestic emissions reductions, and gives others confidence to come forward with their own targets ahead of Copenhagen. The targets announced by countries expected to be growing emitters over time – China, India, Brazil – is also key, as the scale of these countries (and their announcements) will have major impact on total global emissions in 2020.
Here is a summary of the key commitments that countries or blocs have made, some of which are conditional on reciprocal offers being made at Copenhagen.
Developed countries (Annex I members)
European Union. Unconditional commitment to cut its emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. It is implementing a climate and energy package as well as a programme of energy efficiency measures to achieve this. It has also committed to scale up its emission cut to 30% on condition that other industrialised countries agree to make comparable reductions and developing countries contribute adequately to a global deal.
Norway. The first country to pledge to cut carbon emissions by 40% on their 1990 level by 2020. This is line with a key developing country demand on rich countries. Norway also pledged to become 'carbon neutral' by 2030.
Japan. Has increased its offer from -15% below 2005 levels (equivalent to 8% below 1990 levels) to -25% below 1990 levels, contingent on a successful Copenhagen outcome.
United Kingdom. Legally binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. It has drawn up a Low Carbon Transition Plan and National Policy Statements on energy that outlines how it will achieve that.
United States. President Obama has pledged to return emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House of Representatives legislates for a 17% reduction in emissions by 2020. It must now go to the Senate, where it is likely to be ‘reconciled’ with a Bill that calls for a 20% cut in emissions.
Brazil. Has indicated it will make a voluntary offer to reduce emissions by 38-42% by 2020. Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change includes ambitious forestry measures, including a target to cut illegal deforestation by over 70% by 2017. This was recently extended to 80% by 2020.
China. President Hu has said China will make a 'significant' reduction in carbon intensity. It may reveal a number at or before Copenhagen. Carbon intensity is carbon per unit of energy.
India. Its 2008 National Action Plan on Climate Change includes a 15% renewable electricity target by 2020.
Indonesia. Promise to voluntarily cut emissions by 26% by 2020 using the state budget. President Yudhoyono has also pledged that Indonesia could slash its emissions by up to 41% from the energy and forestry sectors should financial assistance be provided.
Mexico. Special programme on Climate Change in 2008 contains with 86 specific goals it says will slow the growth of its carbon emissions, now at about 700 megatons a year, by about 50 megatons by 2012.
South Korea. A range of possible 2020 targets. The low ambition scenario is a 21% cut on projected business as usual emissions in 2020; medium scenario is a 27% cut; and high ambition is 30% on a specified business as usual.
Climate Action Tracker
Detailed information on individual country pledges for greenhouse gas emission reduction
Twitter feed - DECC
DECCgovuk: Chris Huhne confirmed as Secretary of State for DECC - www.decc.gov.uk
Full list of Cabinet members now available on www.number10.gov.uk
DECCgovuk: @treenl These pages also give more info on low carbon businesses, http://bit.ly/d1TMEN & http://bit.ly/9hFFfO @JohnyMoz @thecarbontrust
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