Submissions of 33 countries (including ‘EU-28‘) with “intended nationally determined” greenhouse gas reductions have so far reached the United Nation’s ‘COP process website’. The greenhouse gas reductions proclaimed in the submissions include, besides carbon dioxide (CO2), gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride – and changes in land-use and forestry. This mixture of different sources together with different parties, base years and target years, make the intended greenhouse gas reductions both muddy and incomparable between nations. None of the submissions so far include future financing to developing countries.
The following compares the submissions of the United States, the European Union (EU-28) and Russia – combined these 30 countries were responsible of 34% of the global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2012.
In 2013, on the road to COP-21 in Paris in November 2015, the vision of the United States was as follows: All parties should design “their own commitments to be consistent with their circumstances and capabilities.” The submissions should include “clarifying information (…) in a simple format that is easy for a reader to understand.” (read this ‘article’). Indeed, the simplified clarifications do help the reader to understand the overwhelming carefulness for future generations! … While the worst case climate scenario from the first IPCC report in 1992 is materializing.
This is what the United States, the European Union and Russia intends to do:
In the United States (as an example) more than 90% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels1. Let us as an experiment replace “greenhouse gases” with “CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels” in the submissions; then the reduction targets are clarified in a far more disturbing manner:
The diagram below visualizes the disturbing picture described above. The dots mark the reference-years in the calculations. If reductions of other greenhouse gases than CO2 from fossil fuels are prioritized, then the stippled lines will turn more horizontal.
All three parties are responsible for immense proportions of the global CO2 Emissions prior to 1990. See this ‘interactive graphics’ from The Guardian showing the world’s top 20 emitters of carbon dioxide (from fossil fuels and cement) in the past, present and future.
In 2014 the content of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere was 12% higher than in 1990 and with the present increase-rate the content will be 20% higher in 2025 than in 1990.
The current Climate Debts per capita in ClimatePositions of the three parties are as follows: the United States $6,168, the European Union $1,338 (excluding Luxembourg and Malta due to lack of data) and Russia $1,410 (see the ‘ranking’). The total share of the global Climate Debt is 54% (see the ‘ranking’).
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