Upon arriving in Copenhagen, US Special Envoy on Climate Todd Stern said: “Emissions are emissions. You’ve just got to do the math. If you care about the science, and we do, there is no way to solve this problem by giving the major developing countries a pass.”
ECO does care about the science and we have done the math. Stern and other developed countries may be interested in the conclusions.
IPCC AR4 highlighted the need for 25-40% cuts on 1990 levels by 2020 for developed countries and substantial deviation from business-as-usual (BAU) for developing countries by 2020. Subsequent peer reviewed science identified this substantial deviation as being in the range of a 15-30% deviation from BAU (subsequently adopted as the de facto yardstick by EU and others). As the IPCC has also pointed out, these mitigation targets give the world a 50-50 chance of averting a rise above 2˚C. More importantly, the disparity between woeful developed country ambition and the levels of actions proposed by developing countries are fairly stark.
According to recent estimates of Project Catalyst, an initiative of Climate Works, it is developing countries that are within their proposed emissions reductions range, and towards the upper end of it.
Using the high range figures for proposed mitigation actions and plans, Project Catalyst estimates that every developing country stating a target fell within the 15-30% range. And two exceed it – Brazil with 39% deviation from BAU and Indonesia with 41%.