World leaders still a long way off 2020 emissions targets

The world's leading countries remain far away from their emissions targets for 2020

The Times today gives excellent coverage to David Miliband’s warning that the UN climate talks are “in danger”.

This list of industrial countries’ proposed 2020 targets relative to 1990 emissions levels shows the scale of the ‘science-politics gap’ – how far world leaders are from offering the ‘-40%’ scientists say we need.

Australia: -2% to -22%
Belarus: -5% to -10%
Canada: -3%
Croatia: -20% to -30%
EU (all 27 states): 27 -20% to -30 %
The UK is at -34%
Iceland: -15%
Japan: -25%
New Zealand: -10% to -20%
Norway: -30%
Russia: -15% to -30%
Switzerland: -20% to -30%
Ukraine: -20%
US (Waxman-Markey): -1% to -5%

Total aggregate: -10% to -16%

Also today, the Committee on Climate Change, which advises Ministers on how to meet their legally binding carbon cuts, have said expected aviation growth in the UK means other sectors would need to shrink their emissions even more than previously thought. They called for a cap on emissions from the aviation sector, which has for sometime been the fastest growing source of carbon emissions.

By 2005, aviation already accounted for about 13% of the UK’s climate impact. Since the Kyoto Protocol – which excludes aviation and shipping – was signed, global emissions from these sectors have doubled Were Ed Miliband and Lord Adonis to take on board the advice of their own advisers, it would have profound implications for their airport expansion plans.

Greenpeace transport campaigner Vicky Wyatt said:

“Other industries would have to reduce their emissions even further to create room for the aviation sector to grow even more. Electricity consumers could end up footing the bill.

“The only way to make the deep cuts in aviation emissions that we need is to stop building new runways, like the one at Heathrow.”

The Committee’s advice also comes as pressure mounts from both Australia and a number of developing countries to bring aviation into the Copenhagen deal.

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