According to the Climate transparency report, which was released on Thursday, energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 6% in G20 countries last year. In 2021, however, they are expected to recover by 4%. “The rebound in emissions across the G20, the group responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, shows that deep and rapid cuts in emissions are now urgently needed to achieve net-zero announcements,” he said. Gahee han of the South Korean organization “Solutions for our climate”, which is one of the main authors of the report.
The report points to some positive developments, such as the growth of solar and wind energy, with new records in installed capacities achieved in 2020. The share of renewables in energy supply is projected to grow from 10% in 2020 to 12 % in 2021. In the energy sector (energy used to produce electricity and heat), renewables increased by 20% between 2015 and 2020, and is projected to rise to almost 30% in the G20 this year.
At the same time, however, experts note that, apart from the UK, G20 members have no short-term or long-term strategies to achieve 100% renewables in the energy sector by 2050.
Coal on demand
However, dependence on fossil fuels is not decreasing. In fact, coal consumption is forecast to increase by almost 5% this year, while gas consumption has increased by 12% between 2015 and 2020.
The increase in coal consumption will be driven mainly by China (which accounts for 61% of growth), the United States (18%) and India (17%), according to the report. China is currently the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal.
However, recent announcements indicate that most G20 members are aware of the need to transition to low-carbon economies and achieve net zero targets by 2050 to limit global warming. As of August this year, 14 G20 members had committed to net zero targets, representing almost 61% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the Paris Agreement, each member country is expected to submit a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC): a climate plan that establishes objectives, policies and measures. By September 2021, 13 G20 members had submitted NDC updates, and six set more ambitious targets for 2030.
However, even if fully implemented, the current targets assessed for April 2021 would still lead to a 2.4 ° C warming by the end of the century, experts warn. “G20 governments must come to the table with more ambitious national emission reduction targets. The numbers in this report confirm that we cannot turn the dial without them: they know it, we know it. The ball is firmly in their court before COP26, ”said Kim Coetzee of Climate Analytics, who coordinated the overall analysis.
India shows the way
Abhishek Kaushik of the Institute of Energy and Resources (TERI) said, “India is the only developing country among the G20 countries with sufficient policies and actions to achieve its NDC targets by 2030. The country made significant progress in terms of its voluntary mitigation targets. Its goal is to deliver 450 GW of installed renewable capacity and it recently launched the National Hydrogen Mission to promote the transition to clean energy. However, there is a great need to mobilize international support (including climate finance) for resilient and inclusive growth in the country ”.
Across the G20, the current average EV market share in new car sales remains low, only 3.2% (excluding the European Union).
Sanjay vashist, Director of CAN South Asia, said: “Asia can and must improve in the deployment of renewable energies and turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for green and inclusive development. Announcements to cut coal funding are a good first step. But they must be followed by a plan to completely phase out coal, ensuring a just transition. ”
Climate Transparency is a global association of 16 think-tanks and NGOs. The report was developed by 16 research organizations and 14-member G20 NGOs. Compare the G20 adaptation, mitigation and finance efforts; analyzes recent political developments; and identifies climate opportunities that G20 governments can seize.