Are major economies on track to achieve their pledges for 2020? An assessment of domestic climate and energy policies

energypolicyMark Roelfsema, Michel den Elzen, Niklas Höhne, Andries F. Hof, Nadine Braun, Hanna Fekete, Hannes Böttcher, Ruut Brandsma, Julia Larkin
April 2014

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Many of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries have planned and/or implemented domestic mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes, feed-in tariffs, or standards. This study analyses whether the most effective national climate and energy policies are sufficient to stay on track for meeting the emission reduction proposals (pledges) that countries made for 2020. The analysis shows that domestic policies of India, China and Russia are projected to lead to lower emission levels than the pledged levels. Australia’s and the EU’s nationally legally binding policy framework is likely to deliver their unconditional pledges, but not the conditional ones. The situation is rather unclear for Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Indonesia. We project that policies of Canada and the USA will reduce 2020 emission levels, but additional policies are probably needed to deliver their pledges in full. The analysis also shows that countries are implementing policies or targets in various areas to a varying degree: all major countries have set renewable energy targets; many have recently implemented efficiency standards for cars, and new emission trading systems are emerging.