Paris Agreement Yet Make Impact on Climate Change - Report

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In short
The report, released at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech Morrocco, says countries have not done much to put into actions their Climate action plans eleven months since the Paris Climate Change Agreement was signed.

The rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement has created the legal basis for countries to increase their level of action and ambition to meet the global warming limit over the next two years leading up to 2018.  

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has evaluated the starting point for this process and found there has been little progress on national climate policies in the eleven months since the Paris Agreement was adopted.

The Climate Action Tracker has also assessed current government policies and found little change from Paris. Policies still lead to a warming of 3.6 degrees Celsius, now even further from the globally agreed warming limit of 1.5 degrees.

Assessments have been updated for 25 countries, amounting to 69% of global emissions, and no government has gained an upgraded rating.

The Climate Action Tracker scientists warned that even without the increased uncertainty over US policy precipitated by the 2016 election results, the task of improving climate action would require a renewal of the political support and energy that led to the adoption and rapid entry into force of the ambitious Paris Agreement.

"The strong tailwinds for climate action we see today in many parts of the world, with the incredibly rapid growth of renewable technologies worldwide, the rapid acceleration of the markets for electric vehicles and plummeting battery storage costs, fundamentally change the geopolitical forces working on climate policy," said Climate Analytics CEO and Senior Scientist Bill Hare. 

Hare noted that if political leaders globally maintain their commitment to action, they would be able to ride through the potential turbulence as a result of the election of Donald Trump. Hare describes Trump, the New York businessman who won US presidential elections this week, as "a climate change sceptic".

Prof Niklas Höhne, of New Climate Institute said the US is unlikely to meet its nationally determined contribution made under the Paris Agreement and, if the President-elect Trump abandons current policies as he has threatened to, the Institute estimates that in 2030, US emissions will be similar to what they are today.

In contrast, he said, the most recent data show China's coal use has reduced for the third year in a row, and its carbon-dioxide  emissions are likely to peak between 2025 and 2030.

Meanwhile, the Climate Action Track analysis found that developments in India were among the most important underway globally.

"India may have been expected to increase its coal-fired power use for decades. Instead, there appears to be a transition underway with an extremely rapid growth in renewable energy installations, which has begun to displace planned coal at a scale that has surprised many analysts," said Niklas Höhne.

Bill Hare noted the opportunity now existed for the European Union to re-establish its leadership on climate change.

"With US policy currently up in the air, there's even more reason now for the European Union to lift its game. At a time when it needs to triple its climate efforts to de-carbonise by 2050, the EU is slowing down, and instead needs to move forward faster," he said.

The full analysis and the updated country assessments can be found on the Climate Action Tracker website here.