A new report finds that no major economy in the world is on track to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change ahead of the UN climate change conference in November. 

What is Happening? 

Every major economy in the world, including all the nations that comprise the G20, is failing to meet the obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a new report by policy-analyst Climate Action Tracker (CAT)

The tracker analysed the climate pledges and policies of 36 countries, as well as the 27 nations that make up the European Union (EU), and found that no country is on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. These countries combined contribute 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

Under the Paris Agreement, each signatory country is committed to reducing the country’s greenhouse emissions, improving financial preparedness against impacts of the climate crisis alongside, as well as directing finance flows to projects which align with emission reduction targets. 

Climate pledges made by Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are “critically insufficient”, the analysis said. Countries including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Vietnam are deemed “highly insufficient”, all of which have failed to submit more ambitious pledges for 2030, six years on after signing the Paris Agreement in 2015. They have either proposed the same plan or even less ambitious policies. 

Seven countries’ policies are considered to be  “almost sufficient”, including the United Kingdom. While the UK, which will soon play host to the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, have pledged targets that are in line with the accords, the policies in practice are still lacking. 

The CAT report also found that global progress has stalled since US President Joe Biden’s Climate Leaders’ Summit in April. “In May, after the Climate Leaders’ Summit and the Petersburg dialogue, we reported that there appeared to be good momentum with new climate action commitments,” said Niklas Höhne, a founding partner of the NewClimate Institute, a partner organisation with the Climate Action Tracker analysis “But since then, there has been little to no improvement: nothing is moving.”

“Anyone would think they have all the time in the world, when in fact the opposite is the case,” he added.