Climate: the decarbonization of the G20 countries is excessively slow

Les économies du G20 accusent un très net retard dans la réduction de leurs émissions de carbone. Au point qu'il va désormais leur falloir décupler leurs efforts pour tenir les objectifs de l'accord de Paris sur le climat.

Posted Sep 30, 2022 3:47 PM

Almost a month before COP 27, this is news that is not going in the right direction: the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is very insufficient to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. The rate of The evolution of these rejections fell by only 0.5% in the G20 countries last year, according to the latest edition of the Net Zero Economy Index published by the international consulting and audit firm PWC .

This level of decarbonization is well below the average decline (-1.4%) observed over the past twenty years in these countries, point out the experts. No country is achieving the 5% reduction in CO2 emissions that would have been required last year. Compared to 2019, emissions fell by more than 3%, but this figure is disappointing in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and the health restrictions which have halted economic activity.

Efforts to multiply

Be that as it may, the G20 countries are lagging far behind in relation to their objectives. So much so that they will have to increase their efforts tenfold to stay below the global warming limit of 1.5 degrees by 2100, set by the 2015 Paris agreement. The rate of decarbonization now necessary to stay on this trajectory “changes to 15.2% year-on-year, against 12.9% a year earlier”, estimate PWC experts.

Their analysis is based on the report BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy which counts the carbon emissions due to the consumption of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal). It does not take into account emissions from other sectors (agriculture, forestry and other land uses) or any other greenhouse gases, such as methane. “Consequently, these data cannot be directly compared to emission inventories at the national level”, specify its authors.

Mission almost impossible

In any case, the level of reduction in emissions that will now have to be achieved, given the accumulated delay, is 11 times faster than the rate achieved on average at the global level over the past two decades. Achieving this is almost mission impossible given the current geopolitical and economic context which “mortgags future progress in reducing C02 emissions”, according to the PWC audit.

None of the larger G20 countries comes close to the expected rate of decarbonization. China succeeded in reducing its carbon intensity by 2.8% and India by 2.9%, the highest scores. But this is still very insufficient to make them models of decarbonization.

South Africa, the best performer

On the other hand, nine countries increased their emissions, whereas there were only four in 2020. These are the most developed of them: the United States (+0.1%), the Japan (+0.6%), Germany (+1.7%) and France (+1.4%). These increases are explained “in part due to the post-pandemic recovery”, comment the PWC experts, confirming a widespread analysis.

In 2021, the best performing country was South Africa (-4.6%), ahead of Australia (-3.3%), Turkey (-2.7%), Canada (-2 .2%), Saudi Arabia (-1.8%), South Korea (-1.6%) and the United Kingdom (-1.5%).


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