Climate Change

CSE projections show world is on a temperature path of more than 3 degrees

With the US and EU misappropriating more than their fair share of carbon budgets, Asia and Africa will have very little space for growth after 2030, says Delhi-based non-profit

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 30 October 2015

Commenting on the synthesis report released by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has analysed the climate action plans submitted by countries so far, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has said that aggregate climate contribution is insufficient to keep the world safe. 

While Christina Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, has called the submissions a "significant achievement" and an "unprecedented engagement" by all countries, CSE's analysis of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) shows that developed countries are doing very little. These countries will misappropriate more carbon budget by 2030 and beyond, says the Delhi-based non-profit.

"INDCs are reducing the rate of growth of emissions marginally, but this is not sufficient to keep the world on a safe temperature rise trajectory. Implementation of the INDCs will only lead to higher and higher emissions till 2030," says CSE Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan. "We need more than INDCs at Paris. Else, we might well be looking at a future of run-away global warming and disastrous impacts of extreme weather events on the poor and vulnerable of the world."

CSE Director General Sunita Narain adds, "The misappropriation of carbon space by developed countries will lead to little carbon space being left for developing countries for basic developmental needs. Consumption levels in developed countries will have to be reigned in if emissions are to come down to sustainable levels. It is important this reality is discussed and resolved in the Paris climate conference."

CSE's comments on the synthesis report:

Aggregate effect of INDCs insufficient to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius: CSE finds that the emissions from the world will not peak even in 2030 and the projected emission level of 57 billion tonnes in 2030 is about 25 per cent more than what the emissions should have been to keep the world on a 2-degree target. To remain within 2 degrees, the global emissions should peak latest between 2020 and 2030.

World will finish 75 per cent of the remaining carbon budget of 1,000 billion tonnes by 2030: The UNFCCC report confirms CSE’s previous estimate that the world will exhaust 70-80 per cent of its remaining carbon budget by 2030.

Global warming of over 3 degrees Celsius is expected: CSE disagrees with the projections put out by agencies, including UNFCCC, that the temperature rise will be about 2.7 degrees by 2100. Considering that about 75 per cent of the remaining carbon budget will be exhausted by 2030 and global emissions will not have peaked by 2030, CSE projections show that the world is on a temperature path of more than 3 degrees.

Mitigation efforts from developed countries less than they are by developing countries: Studies by various civil society organisations, including CSE, show that the efforts from developed countries fall well short of what their efforts should have been considering their historical responsibility. US and the EU countries climate action plans represent only about a fifth of what they should have been doing based on their economic capability and responsibility of causing climate change.

Carbon space for basic development needs and survival emissions compromised: With nations such as the US and EU misappropriating more than their fair share of carbon budgets from now until 2030 and further staking a claim on the carbon budget until 2050, the poor from Asia and Africa will have very little space for growth after 2030 when most of the carbon space will have been exhausted.

A new mechanism required to distribute the carbon budget within countries based on equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR): While the report does not talk about a mechanism for increasing ambition in the mitigation efforts of countries, CSE strongly believes that this will not be sufficient. A mechanism must be evolved and agreed in Paris to fairly distribute the carbon budget within countries based on the principles of UNFCCC like equity and CDBR. If that is not done, developing countries will have very little carbon budget left to meet their basic human development needs post 2030.

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