22 November 2009

Climate Change League Table-Update

Russia Leapfrogs Germany!

Who is leading in the Challenge of our Age, the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions? HaraBara compared the commitments and targets announced by various countries. We adjusted them to a common baseline: Emission reductions between 1990 and 2020. (We used the emission data in FCCC/SBI/2008/12 found here.) Here are the results.

The Russian Federation recently announced it will cut its greenhouse gas emissions 20-25% below 1990 levels by 2020. This means its absolute tonnage reductions will be more than Germany's.

Norway has said it will reduce its emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2020. This is the deepest cut of any potential signatory to a Copenhagen agreement. Scotland has promised more, and Germany as much, but they are both part of the European Union which has only pledged to cut 20%.

Country Emissions Reduction, % 2020 compared to 1990
Scotland -42%
Norway -40%
Germany -40%
United Kingdom -34%
France -26%
Japan -25%
EU -20%
Switzerland -20%
Russian Federation -20%
New Zealand -10%
USA -4%
Canada -1%
Australia +13%

Here is what the rankings look like if you compare how many tonnes of GHG are emitted in 2020 compared to 1990 (in millions of tonnes CO2 equivalent per year). How can Switzerland commit to reduce emissions more than Canada, in absolute tonnes, or Japan more than the U.S.?

Country Emissions Reduction, Mt 2020 compared to 1990
EU -849
Russian Federation -665
Germany -491
Japan -318
United Kingdom -262
USA -236
France -145
Scotland -28
Norway -14
Switzerland -10
Canada -5
New Zealand -4
Australia +54

This graph sums it up, and it is not a picture to be proud of. And of course these are just "targets". The total reductions hoped for by the countries declared so far come to only 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2020.

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