Who will be the judge of countries’ climate plans?

(EurActiv, 13 Dec 2021) Countries have until the end of next year to ensure their climate commitments meet the Paris agreement’s cap on global warming. But who will check that their promises really do stack up?

The question is so sensitive that, for now, the answer is: the countries themselves.

While nations have agreed to a global target aimed at avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise when they should be falling.

And there is no formal organisation tasked with making sure individual nations are on track.

“There are no ‘police’ to check; this is a weakness of the process,” climatologist Corinne Le Quere told AFP.

Nearly 200 countries signed up to the landmark Paris deal in 2015, committing to halt warming “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, preferably limiting it to 1.5C.

And in November at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, nations called for all governments to ensure their emissions plans for this decade align with the Paris temperature goals, strengthening them if necessary, by the end of 2022.

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EurActiv, 13 Dec 2021: Who will be the judge of countries’ climate plans?