Climate crisis: Paris agreement goals ‘within striking distance’ thanks to international net zero targets

Latest News 2020-12-05

The core objective of the 2015 Paris climate agreement — to limit the rise in the average global temperature to “well below 2C” — is “within striking distance,” new analysis suggests.

According to calculations by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), if all national governments which have pledged to hit net zero emissions by 2050 keep to their targets, warming could be up by 2.1C by 2100.

The calculations take into account recent announcements by China, South Korea and Japan, who have set out emissions goals, as well as US president-elect Joe Biden’s plan to hit net zero by 2050.

In total, 127 countries, responsible for around 63 per cent of global emissions, are considering or have adopted net zero targets.

All these countries are expected to put forward plans this year for how they will progress towards net zero, including explicit targets for 2030 — known as “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) — though there are major concerns that many of the world’s biggest polluters are not making enough headway.