Greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios for major emitting countries – Analysis of current climate policies and mitigation commitments: 2021 Update

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This report by NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) provides an overview of projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 26 major emitting countries and regions up to 2030 under currently implemented policies. The report shows that emissions are projected to remain above 2005 levels in most countries but concludes that 16 out of the 26 countries and regions analysed are on track or close to achieve the NDC targets they have previously set for themselves. Eight are on track to also meet their updated NDC targets (with another two countries being close). 11 countries are not on track to meet their updated targets, and five of the 26 countries have not submitted an NDC update.


Emissions remain above 2005 levels in most countries analysed

Absolute emissions levels vary considerably across the countries analysed. In this report, we present emissions projections using 2005 as a base year for reporting and comparability reasons. Economy-wide GHG emissions in the 26 countries as a group are expected to increase between 8% and 25% between 2005 and 2030 under current policies. Emissions are projected to remain above 2005 levels in most (16) countries analysed and range from a decrease of 51% between 2005 and 2030 to an increase of 140% in the same period (Figure 1).

Figure 1: 2030 emissions under current policies, including the effect of COVID-19, compared to 2005 levels. The sector coverage for GHG emissions is consistent with the NDC targets.

NDC updates reflect distinct ambition levels and affect progress towards emissions targets

Several countries analysed updated their NDCs between 2020 and 2021 (Table 1). A country that was off-track to meet their original NDC target will be further off-track once it has set itself a more ambitious target, though full implementation of current policies and possible enhanced policies should close this gap over time.

Our analysis indicates that further action is required in several major emitters analysed. Sixteen out of the 26 countries and regions analysed are on track or close to achieve the NDC targets they have previously set for themselves. Eight are on track to also meet their updated NDC targets (with another two countries being close). Eleven countries are off-track to meet their updated targets and five are still to submit updated NDCs.

Table 1: Progress towards meeting previous and current unconditional NDC targets in comparison to the ambition progression of NDC updates (as of September 2021). ‘N/A’ indicates that no target is available.
* These countries have proposed updated 2030 GHG targets. Even though the new 2030 targets have not been submitted to the UNFCCC, we consider them the current national target.
** Egypt’s NDC does not present a quantifiable target.
*** Ethiopia remains off-track to meet its conditional target but has now submitted an unconditional target, which the country is on track to meet.

Contacts for further information:

NewClimate Institute: Leonardo Nascimento, Takeshi Kuramochi

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency: Michel den Elzen