Climate Change List of Shame


Despite half the world being on fire and the existence of an IPCC report signifying a ‘code red for humanity’, not a single country is on target with their agreements formed at the Paris Climate Accord in 2015.

We’re two months out from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland, and the worst climate offenders still have not made sufficient plans to lower their emissions.

To close the emissions gap by 2030, it was agreed that global governments needed to limit global warming to just 1.5°C. As reported by the Climate Action Tracker through current 2020-2021 submissions, this gap has only been decreased by just 15%. There are few frontrunners, with most countries’ targets and actions highly or critically insufficient to being on target.

Countries like Germany, Norway and the UK are nearly hitting domestic targets, however, because none of these governments has put forward enough finance for developing countries, they lose their spot and are considered ‘insufficient.’ The only country to meet the 1.5-degree compatibility is The Gambia, which is a developing country. The worst performing governments are Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Vietnam and of course, Australia, all of which failed to adjust their targets since 2015.

It isn’t surprising Australia is falling behind considering environment minister, Sussan Ley, just approved Whitehaven Coal’s Vickery mine extension in northern NSW. It is the second coal mine that has been approved in the last two weeks despite the federal court ruling Ley does have a duty of care to protect young people from the climate crisis. But she clearly doesn’t give a shit about them, with the first Wollongong extension predicted to produce 3.7 million tonnes of extra coal across five years.

Among all these targets talks, the most crucial date globally is 2030. This is when global emissions need to be cut by 50%. If it continues at the current rate, we will be emitting twice as much as required to get to that 1.5°C limit. Net-zero target pledges are irrelevant until we get to that first hurdle, and even then, need to be aligned with 2030 targets. Most net-zero targets are formulated vaguely or in Australia’s case, not at all (evidently, as we just extended two fucking coal mines).

According to the Climate Tracker, right now the current global 2030 goals, combined with the net-zero targets, would optimistically reduce warming by 2.0°C—far from where we need to be. When you consider that ‘almost sufficient’ is the best result so far from a handful of countries globally, it’s almost as if our governments think we have all the time in the world.

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