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Climate target

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
States by intended year of climate neutrality.
  Already climate neutral or positive[Note 1]
  Unknown or undeclared
When countries plan a ban on new fossil fuel vehiclas.
Emission budget and necessary emission reduction pathways to meet the two-degree target agreed in Paris Agreement without negative emissions, depending on the emission peak[3]
World map for Sustainable Development Goal 13 Indicator 13.A.1: Green Climate Fund mobilization of $100 billion, 2018.
Share of energy consumption from renewable sources for EU and EEA countries 2020 and 2021, compared to the national targets for 2020. EU28 (including United Kingdom) pledged an average of 20 percent renewable energy for 2020, and EU27 reached 22 percent.

A climate target, climate goal or climate pledge is a measurable long-term commitment for climate policy and energy policy with the aim of limiting the climate change. Researchers within, among others, the UN climate panel have identified probable consequences of global warming for people and nature at different levels of warming. Based on this, politicians in a large number of countries have agreed on temperature targets for warming, which is the basis for scientifically calculated carbon budgets and ways to achieve these targets. This in turn forms the basis for politically decided global and national emission targets for greenhouse gases, targets for fossil-free energy production and efficient energy use, and for the extent of planned measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

At least 164 countries have implemented climate targets in their national climate legislation.[4]

Global climate targets[edit]

Countries' targets for when new sales of fossil fuel vehicles should be prohibited.
Emissions budget and necessary emission reduction paths to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree target (solid) and 2-degree target (dashed), depending on when the annual amount of emissions turns downward.
Number of parties in multilateral environmental agreements.[5]

Global climate targets are goals that a large number of countries have agreed upon, including at United Nations Climate Change conferences (COP). Targets often referred to are:

Mobilization of the green climate fund with USD 100 billion annually constitutes indicator 13.A.1 of the global goals. By 2022, countries had pledged $10.3 billion to the fund.

Calculation of Emissions Targets[edit]

An emissions target or greenhouse gas emissions reduction target is a central policy instrument of international greenhouse gas emissions reduction politics and a key pillar of climate policy.[10][11][12][13][14][15] They typically include heavy consideration of emissions budgets, which are calculated using rate of warming per standard emission of carbon dioxide, a historic baseline temperature, a desired level of confidence and a target global average temperature to stay below.[16]

An "emissions target" may be distinguished from an emissions budget, as an emissions target may be internationally or nationally set in accordance with objectives other than a specific global temperature. This includes targets created for their political palatability, rather than budgets scientifically determined to meet a specific temperature target.[17][18]

A country's determination of emissions targets is based on careful consideration of pledged NDCs (nationally determined contributions), economic and social feasibility, and political palatability.[19] Carbon budgets can provide political entities with knowledge of how much carbon can be emitted before likely reaching a certain temperature threshold, but specific emissions targets take more into account. The exact way these targets are determined varies widely from country to country. Variation in emissions targets and time to complete them depends on factors such as accounting of land-use emissions, afforestation capacity of a country, and a countries transport emissions.[20] Importantly, emissions targets also depend on their hypothesized reception.

Many emissions pathways, budgets and targets also rely on the implementation of negative emissions technology.[21] These currently undeveloped technologies are predicted to pull net emissions down even as source emissions are not reduced.

Effectiveness of Targets[edit]

Many countries' emissions targets are above the scientifically calculated allowable emissions to remain below a certain temperature threshold.[22][23] In 2015, many countries pledged NDCs to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.[24] Many of the largest emitters of GHGs, however, are on track to push global average temperature to as much as 4 °C.[22] Some of these projections contradict agreements made in the 2015 Paris Agreement, meaning countries are not keeping to their pledged NDCs.

In addition, it is uncertain how effective many emissions targets and accompanying policies really are.[25] For example, with countries that have high consumption-based carbon emissions, strictly enforced, aligned and coordinated international policy measures determine the effectiveness of targets. In addition, many ambitious policies are proposed and passed but are not practically enforced or regulated, or have unintended consequences. China's ETS (emissions trading scheme), while seeming to have an effect on reducing production-based emissions also promoted outsourcing of emissions contributing to a further imbalance of carbon transfer among China's different provinces.[26] The ETS evaluation also did not account for exported consumption-based emissions.

Many countries aim to reach net zero emissions in the next few decades.[20] In order to reach this goal however, there must be a radical shift in energy infrastructure.[27] For example, in the United States, political entities are attempting to switch away from coal and oil based energy by replacing plants with natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.[28] Other countries like the Netherlands were obligated by the District Court of Hague to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. The Court has passed other innovations (Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell) to reduce dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030.[29] However many find this transition to not be significant enough to reach net-zero emissions.[28][30] More significant changes, for example using biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) are suggested as a viable option to transition to net-zero emissions countries.[31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is the difference between carbon-neutral, net-zero and climate positive?". plana.earth. PlanA.Earth GmbH. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  2. ^ "What does climate positive mean?". go-positive.co.uk. Go Climate Positive Limited. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  3. ^ Christiana Figueres u. a. (2017), "Three years to safeguard our climate", Nature (in German), vol. 546, no. 7660, pp. 593–595, Bibcode:2017Natur.546..593F, doi:10.1038/546593a, PMID 28661507
  4. ^ harrisson, thomas (2017-05-11). "Mapped: Climate change laws around the world". The database, produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Sabin Center on Climate Change Law, includes more than 1,200 relevant policies across 164 countries. Retrieved 2023-08-14.
  5. ^ Ritchie, Roser, Mispy, Ortiz-Ospina. "Measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals." (SDG 13) SDG-Tracker.org, website (2018).
  6. ^ "Industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2%". unfccc.int. 1997-12-11. Retrieved 2023-08-14.
  7. ^ Messetchkova, Iana (2021-11-02). "Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use". UN Climate Change conference UK 2021. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  8. ^ Lai, Olivia (2021-11-03). "105 Countries Join Global Methane Pledge to Slash Methane Emissions 30% by 2030". Earth.Org.
  9. ^ "Homepage | Global Methane Pledge". www.globalmethanepledge.org. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  10. ^ Meinshausen, Malte; Meinshausen, Nicolai; Hare, William; Raper, Sarah C. B.; Frieler, Katja; Knutti, Reto; Frame, David J.; Allen, Myles R. (30 April 2009). "Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C". Nature. 458 (7242): 1158–1162. Bibcode:2009Natur.458.1158M. CiteSeerX doi:10.1038/nature08017. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 19407799. S2CID 4342402.
  11. ^ Matthews, H. Damon; Zickfeld, Kirsten; Knutti, Reto; Allen, Myles R. (2018). "Focus on cumulative emissions, global carbon budgets and the implications for climate mitigation targets". Environmental Research Letters. 13 (1): 010201. Bibcode:2018ERL....13a0201D. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa98c9. ISSN 1748-9326.
  12. ^ Raupach, Michael R.; Davis, Steven J.; Peters, Glen P.; Andrew, Robbie M.; Canadell, Josep G.; Ciais, Philippe; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Jotzo, Frank; Vuuren, Detlef P. van (21 September 2014). "Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions". Nature Climate Change. 4 (10): 873–879. Bibcode:2014NatCC...4..873R. doi:10.1038/nclimate2384. hdl:11250/2484054. ISSN 1758-6798.
  13. ^ Friedlingstein, P., Andrew, R. M., Rogelj, J., Peters, G. P., Canadell, J. G., Knutti, R., ... & Le Quéré, C. (2014). Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets. Nature geoscience, 7(10), 709.
  14. ^ Jackson, Tim. "2050 is too late – we must drastically cut emissions much sooner". The Conversation. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  15. ^ Zickfeld, K.; Arora, V. K.; Gillett, N. P. (2012-03-01). "Is the climate response to CO2 emissions path dependent?". Geophysical Research Letters. 39 (5): L05703. Bibcode:2012GeoRL..39.5703Z. doi:10.1029/2011gl050205. ISSN 1944-8007.
  16. ^ Rogelj, Joeri; Forster, Piers M.; Kriegler, Elmar; Smith, Christopher J.; Séférian, Roland (17 July 2019). "Estimating and tracking the remaining carbon budget for stringent climate targets". Nature. 571 (7765): 335–342. Bibcode:2019Natur.571..335R. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1368-z. hdl:10044/1/78011. PMID 31316194.
  17. ^ Babiker, Mustafa H.; Eckaus, Richard S. (2002-09-01). "Rethinking the Kyoto Emissions Targets". Climatic Change. 54 (4): 399–414. doi:10.1023/A:1016139500611. ISSN 0165-0009. S2CID 154819244.
  18. ^ Zickfeld, Kirsten; Eby, Michael; Matthews, H. Damon; Weaver, Andrew J. (2009-09-22). "Setting cumulative emissions targets to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (38): 16129–16134. doi:10.1073/pnas.0805800106. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2752604. PMID 19706489.
  19. ^ Babiker, Mustafa H.; Eckaus, Richard S. (2002). "Rethinking the Kyoto Emissions Targets". Climatic Change. 54 (4): 399–414. doi:10.1023/A:1016139500611. S2CID 154819244.
  20. ^ a b van Soest, Heleen L.; den Elzen, Michel G. J.; van Vuuren, Detlef P. (2021-04-09). "Net-zero emission targets for major emitting countries consistent with the Paris Agreement". Nature Communications. 12 (1): 2140. Bibcode:2021NatCo..12.2140V. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22294-x. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 8035189. PMID 33837206.
  21. ^ Johansson, Daniel J A; Azar, Christian; Lehtveer, Mariliis; Peters, Glen P (2020-12-05). "The role of negative carbon emissions in reaching the Paris climate targets: The impact of target formulation in integrated assessment models". Environmental Research Letters. 15 (12): 124024. Bibcode:2020ERL....15l4024J. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abc3f0. ISSN 1748-9326.
  22. ^ a b Korppoo, Anna; Kokorin, Alexey (2017-02-17). "Russia's 2020 GHG emissions target: Emission trends and implementation". Climate Policy. 17 (2): 113–130. doi:10.1080/14693062.2015.1075373. hdl:11250/2485906. ISSN 1469-3062. S2CID 154257631.
  23. ^ "Home | Climate Action Tracker". climateactiontracker.org. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  24. ^ "Paris Agreement, FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1" (PDF). UNFCCC secretariat. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  25. ^ Nabernegg, Stefan; Bednar-Friedl, Birgit; Muñoz, Pablo; Titz, Michaela; Vogel, Johanna (April 2019). "National Policies for Global Emission Reductions: Effectiveness of Carbon Emission Reductions in International Supply Chains". Ecological Economics. 158: 146–157. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.12.006.
  26. ^ Gao, Yuning; Li, Meng; Xue, Jinjun; Liu, Yu (August 2020). "Evaluation of effectiveness of China's carbon emissions trading scheme in carbon mitigation". Energy Economics. 90: 104872. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104872. S2CID 225437125.
  27. ^ Pye, S.; Broad, O.; Bataille, C.; Brockway, P.; Daly, H. E.; Freeman, R.; Gambhir, A.; Geden, O.; Rogan, F.; Sanghvi, S.; Tomei, J. (2021-02-07). "Modelling net-zero emissions energy systems requires a change in approach". Climate Policy. 21 (2): 222–231. doi:10.1080/14693062.2020.1824891. hdl:10044/1/85157. ISSN 1469-3062.
  28. ^ a b Sproul, Evan; Barlow, Jay; Quinn, Jason C. (2020-12-01). "Time-Resolved Cost Analysis of Natural Gas Power Plant Conversion to Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage to Support Net-Zero Emissions". Environmental Science & Technology. 54 (23): 15338–15346. Bibcode:2020EnST...5415338S. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c04041. ISSN 0013-936X. PMID 33183006. S2CID 226850670.
  29. ^ Benoit, Mayer (July 2022). "The Duty of Care of Fossil-Fuel Producers for Climate Change Mitigation: Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell District Court of The Hague (The Netherlands)". ProQuest. 11. doi:10.1017/S2047102522000103. ProQuest 2688520401.
  30. ^ Zhang, Xiaochun; Myhrvold, Nathan P.; Hausfather, Zeke; Caldeira, Ken (April 2016). "Climate benefits of natural gas as a bridge fuel and potential delay of near-zero energy systems". Applied Energy. 167: 317–322. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.10.016.
  31. ^ Wang, Rui; Chang, Shiyan; Cui, Xueqin; Li, Jin; Ma, Linwei; Kumar, Amit; Nie, Yaoyu; Cai, Wenjia (January 2021). "Retrofitting coal‐fired power plants with biomass co‐firing and carbon capture and storage for net zero carbon emission: A plant‐by‐plant assessment framework". GCB Bioenergy. 13 (1): 143–160. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12756. ISSN 1757-1693.
  32. ^ Tokimatsu, Koji; Yasuoka, Rieko; Nishio, Masahiro (January 2017). "Global zero emissions scenarios: The role of biomass energy with carbon capture and storage by forested land use". Applied Energy. 185: 1899–1906. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.11.077.


  1. ^ Climate positive is synonymous to carbon negative but includes greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide.[1][2]