Climate Action Tracker - COP23 Briefing

Published: 15/11/2017

To meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal, to hold global average temperature increase “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) need to peak around 2020 and be rapidly reduced in the coming years, and brought to zero shortly after the middle of this century, as specified in Article 4 of the Agreement. 

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) evaluates progress towards this global goal by quantifying the aggregate effects of current policies (i.e. policies that are already implemented) on global GHG emissions, and the commitments put forward by governments in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), under the Paris Agreement. The CAT then compares these with the emissions levels consistent with both the Paris-compatible 1.5°C limit and the earlier 2°C temperature increase
limit at different time periods (2025 and 2030).

In its COP23 update, the CAT estimates that if governments were to fully implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), global temperature increase would reach 3.2°C (3.16°C) in 2100 (range of 2.6–4.0°C due uncertainty in carbon-cycle and climate modelling), a deterioration of around 0.3°C since 2016. This means that in aggregate, government pledges are completely inconsistent with the Paris Agreement. The “central” (median) estimate of 3.2°C is consistent with a likely (66% or greater chance) of a global average temperature increase below 3.5°C in 2100. 

Of the 32 countries the CAT assesses, as of 7 November 2017 only Argentina and Morocco have revised their NDC to include a more ambitious target since 2015. However, our temperature increase estimate compared to 2016 did not fall; instead, it rose by 0.3°C.

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Yvonne Deng
Climate Strategies and Policies
Kornelis Blok