Factsheets on A1 vs nA1 pledges and mitigation loopholes
The Stockholm Environment Institute has recently issued a report that examines four detailed studies of countries’ mitigation pledges under the Cancun Agreements, for the purpose of comparing developed (Annex 1) country pledges to developing (non-Annex 1) country pledges.
It finds that there is broad agreement that developing country pledges amount to more mitigation than developed country pledges. That conclusion is robust, in that it applies across all four studies and across all their various cases, despite the diversity of assumptions and methodologies employed and the substantial differences in their quantification of the pledges.
Each new report that is released on climate change paints an even more dire picture than its predecessor in terms of the extent to which climate change is already underway and the associated impacts. The recently published Bridging the Emissions Gap report from UNEP (2011) gives an updated estimate of the gap between the amount of mitigation needed to keep it likely (greater than 2 in 3 chance) that global temperature rise stays below 2°C, and what countries have pledged, and the news has only gotten worse.
The window for addressing climate change is effectively closing with each passing day of inaction. Yet, there is little talk of increasing the ambition of mitigation targets by developed countries so that they are in agreement with science and principles of equity. Even worse, weak accounting rules mean that pledged emission reductions actually disappear through loopholes.