Officials said that India and China have failed to meet a deadline set by the U.N. to submit new plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order for the global body include their pledges in its report for governments at this year’s global climate summit.
Two of the world’s most populous nations failed to update the U.N. climate agency on July 31 with any information regarding their progress in curbing emissions of greenhouse gases.
China is the country that emits the most carbon dioxide, and India is third. The second-biggest global emitter is the United States, having submitted its April target.
Patricia Espinosa, U.N. climate chief, was happy to see that 110 signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had reached the deadline. This cut-off date was extended due the pandemic. She said that it was not satisfactory that 58% of the new targets were submitted in time, but she agreed.
Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Syria, along with 82 other countries, failed to update their national determined contributions (NDCs), in time to be included in the report Espinosa’s is preparing for U.N. Climate Change Conference in November.
Espinosa noted that a previous report found countries were doing too little to meet the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times, let alone the more ambitious target of capping warming at 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F).
Espinosa stated that recent extreme heat waves, droughts, and floods around the globe are a dire warning sign that more must be done to alter our current path. This can only be done by more ambitious NDCs.
The 2015 Paris climate agreement requires countries to set their own emission reduction goals, but they must also be transparent about these and to jointly increase their targets over time in order to maintain an acceptable level of global warming.
China did announce last year that it aims for its emissions of carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas — to peak before 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. However, the target has not been formally submitted to the U.N. so it cannot be included in the global effort.
Alok Sharma, British, who is the chair of the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, met earlier this month with more than 50 environment ministers, including those from the U.S.A and China. Sharma stated that participants had reached agreement on the 1.5 degree C goal and that it must be kept “within reach” after the meeting, which was the first of its kind since the outbreak of the pandemic.
He stated, “Between now COP26, we must, I promise you, we will, make each day count,”