GlobalData: Significant work needed to achieve COP21 climate change goals

global co2 emissions

The ambitious Paris Agreement reached at the recent United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), which ultimately aims to limit the increase in global average temperatures to below 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels, will require substantial efforts from its signatories if the desired results are to be achieved, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power, states that the success of COP21 will rely upon how effectively parties implement measures to fulfill their particular Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), and how they deal with the impact these measures have on major industries, such as transportation and energy.

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The INDCs were analyzed in a report released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which estimated that, if fully implemented, the INDCs would lead to a significant fall in per capita emissions of about 9% in the next 15 years, and would limit the forecast rise in temperature to 2.7°C.

“While this falls short of the 2°C target, it is still seen as partially successful, as in the absence of the INDCs, the temperature rise is estimated to be at least 5°C,” Mathur said. “Furthermore, the full implementation of INDCs in pursuit of emission reduction could have a significant impact on several industries, particularly in energy generation and transportation, which are currently the largest sources of carbon emissions.”

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The analyst adds that Paris Agreement signatories have mentioned in varying detail how they intend to achieve their proposed contributions, and countries will need to take a variety of approaches to fulfill their pledges.

“Developed nations can be expected to focus on energy efficiency in terms of efficient usage and energy conservation practices from the commercial and residential sectors,” Mathur continues. “Meanwhile, emerging economies will need to implement more diverse strategies, including renewable energy, land use change, afforestation, transport, waste management, and most importantly energy efficiency in the industrial sector.

“These are all realistic and realizable goals, but whether parties, particularly those with developing economies such as China, will defy doubts and achieve their targets remains to be seen.”

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