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To date, 53 countries (or 54 “Parties” if the European Union is counted as an additional party to its 28 member countries) have officially committed to reducing their Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by submitting their Determined National Contribution (INDC, for its acronym in English) before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These countries - in which 4 of the 5 largest emitters are found - together represent more than 60% of the planet's total CO2 emissions.
The countries have agreed to prevent the increase in the planet's temperature from exceeding 2 ° C. To achieve this, the INDCs were created, through which national goals for reducing GHG emissions are set through mitigation activities to be implemented as of 2020. In other words, an INDC is the voluntary contribution of a country to an effort global reduction of GHG emissions.
Contributions so far
The countries that contribute the most to climate change
The most anticipated INDCs were those of the European Union, the US and China, which together represent 49.92% of global emissions. The three members of the UNFCCC unveiled their contributions in recent months and demonstrated that the nations that contribute the most to climate change are committed to protecting the planet.
The European Union has committed to reducing 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to the levels reached in 1990. The countries agreed that there will be no turning back on their contributions. This means that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will only increase over time.
The United States committed to reducing its emissions by at least 26% by 2030 based on 2005. The fact that the United States has presented a goal to reduce its GHG emissions is already a turning point, since it had always been reluctant to sign an explicit commitment to reduce GHG emissions. The latest announcement by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who calls for a reform to reduce national emissions from power plants by 32% in 2030 compared to 2005 levels is, as he has pointed out: “the step largest and most important that the United States has taken to combat climate change.
The People's Republic of China has committed to reducing its CO? Emissions. per unit of GDP between 60% and 65% compared to the levels registered in 2005, as well as increasing the nation's non-fuel energy resources by 20% by 2030. In addition, it announced that its total emissions will reach its peak in the 2030. A few weeks ago, Chinese government official Xie Zhenhua said that the cooperation on climate change between China and the United States is very successful and could be an example for South-North collaboration in the field of climate change.
In addition to the EU and the US, several developed countries have submitted their INDC. For example, Switzerland, the first country to have published its INDC, has announced that it seeks to reduce 50% of its GHGs by 2030 with respect to 1990 levels, specifying that 30% will do so in the country and 20% in the foreign, given that the country is responsible for much more emissions than it produces territorially.
Canada and New Zealand have proposed a 30% reduction by 2030, based on 2005. Russia expects to reduce between 25% and 30% of its GHGs by 2030, relying significantly on its abundant forests, while Japan has announced that it will reduce 26% of their emissions by 2030 based on 2013. According to Climate Action Tracker, the commitments of these four countries are insufficient to prevent the increase in the planet's temperature from exceeding 2 ° C.
Currently the European continent leads in the number of countries that have submitted their contributions. In addition to those mentioned, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Serbia, and Macedonia have submitted their INDCs, demonstrating that small countries are also committed to the global effort.
The African continent leads with five developing countries that have already submitted their contributions: Morocco, Gabon, Kenya, Ethiopia and Benin - the last two being members of the Least Developed Countries group. For this reason, unlike all other countries, Benin presented an INDC based on specific measures and not on a general GHG reduction target. On the other hand, Ethiopia, despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, was the most ambitious on the continent to commit to a 64% reduction of its GHGs by 2030 in a “Business as Usual” (BAU) scenario, in other words, with respect to the emissions projected to 2030 under a scenario in which mitigation measures are not applied.
In Asia, in addition to China, the “tigers” South Korea and Singapore committed respectively to a reduction of 37% by 2030 in a BAU scenario, and of 36% of emissions per unit of GDP by 2030, based on 2005 .
In addition, two Small Island Developing States, particularly vulnerable to climate change, presented their INDC: they are the Marshall Islands (Pacific) and Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean).
Latin American countries
Mexico set a valuable precedent by being the first country in Latin America to present its INDC. It is a country highly vulnerable to climate change with per capita emissions of 5.9 tCO? However, its goal is to unconditionally reduce GHG and SCLP (short-lived climate pollutant emissions) emissions by 25% compared to BAU by 2030, a percentage that could be raised to 40% conditionally, subject to that a global climate agreement is given with certain conditions.
For its part, Peru has announced that it will seek to reduce 31% of GHG by 2030, and its INDC proposal is under public consultation. Chile has also made a prior consultation for the presentation of its INDC, which will be released soon. Colombia will seek to reduce 20% of its emissions by 2030 and its contribution will be officially presented before October 31, as is expected from countries that have not yet released their INDCs.