Show an ad over header. AMP

Mounting emissions data paints bleak picture on Paris climate goals

Researchers keep finding new ways to reveal that nations are together showing very few signs of getting on track to meet the Paris Agreement's goals.

One big question: That's whether a spate of recent analyses to that effect, and scientific reports coming later this year, will move the needle on meaningful new policies (not just targets).


What's new: Analysis Wednesday in Nature Climate Change offers a new window onto progress in the years since the Paris deal and the results are ... not great.

The big picture: It finds that 64 nations cut their fossil fuel-related CO2 emissions from 2016-2019 compared to the 2011-2015 period.

  • But don't pop the corks. Average cuts were "a tenth of what would be needed at the global level to meet the Paris climate goals," the tally notes.
  • And 150 nations together increased emissions slightly on average, per researchers from the University of East Anglia, Stanford and the Global Carbon Project.

By the numbers: Those 64 nations cut CO2 emissions by an average of 0.16 gigatons annually in 2016-2019, while the average increase in 150 nations with rising emissions was about twice that amount.

But basically, it's all pretty static, as this line makes clear: "[C]uts of 1–2 GtCO2 per year are needed throughout the 2020s and beyond to avoid exceeding warming levels in the range 1.5 °C to well below 2 °C, the ambition of the Paris Agreement."

Why it matters: It's a pivotal year for climate efforts, with United Nations officials hoping for aggressive new national goals ahead of a pivotal late-year summit — and concrete steps to back them up.

Catch up fast: It's just the latest analysis that shows the gulf between nations' current actions and emissions cuts needed to meet the Paris targets.

  • New International Energy Agency data this week showed that global emissions have rebounded from cuts during the pandemic.
  • An interim UN analysis Friday of nations' Paris pledges so far finds that they would bring only a 1% decline in emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
  • However, the UN noted that many large emitting nations had yet to submit revised pledges.

The intrigue: HSBC Global Research suggests those UN numbers, combined with looming scientific analyses from the UN-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could create new pressures.

"We think these reports could be used as foundations for governments to formulate various policies, by influencing decisions and highlighting the urgency of action required to both curb emissions (mitigation) and prepare for the impacts (adaptation)," they said in a note.

Charted: 2020's historic (and temporary) carbon decline

The same analysis in Nature Climate Change is also a window onto last year's historic decline in CO2 emissions.

It finds that global emissions from fossil fuels declined by about 7% last year. The chart above shows the historically steep annual drop.

Yes, but: They're already rebounding to pre-COVID levels, per IEA.

European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Keep reading... Show less

81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

Keep reading... Show less

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

Keep reading... Show less

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

Keep reading... Show less

Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

Keep reading... Show less

Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

Keep reading... Show less

The state worst hit by the pandemic

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the job facing governments was to save lives and save jobs. Very few states did well on both measures, while New York, almost uniquely, did particularly badly on both.

Why it matters: The jury is still out on whether there was a trade-off between the dual imperatives; a new analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies shows no clear correlation between the two.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden confronts eroded credibility on climate action and Paris agreement

The biggest hurdle for President Biden in winning new emissions reduction commitments at this week's White House summit is America's on-again, off-again history of climate change efforts.

Why it matters: The global community is off course to meet the temperature targets contained in the Paris Climate Agreement. The White House wants the summit Thursday and Friday to begin to change that.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories