Politicians and industrialists have been keen to adopt environment-friendly language in their media statements with lots of promises and pledges that their governments and corporations intend to change to solve the climate change crisis.
But the new analysis, by Climate Action Tracker, finds almost every country is falling woefully short of their policies to meet what they agreed to in the 2015 Paris climate accord. Every one of the world’s leading economies, including all the countries that make up the G20, is failing to meet commitments made in the landmark Paris agreement in order to stave off climate catastrophe. This means the world is still on course towards calamitous climate impacts.
Climate pledges made by Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are “critically insufficient.
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China and India are among those deemed “highly insufficient”.
The US, the European Union and Japan are ranked as “insufficient”.
The UK is “almost sufficient”.
Combined, all these countries make up 80% of global emissions.
Only The Gambia has made commitments in line with the 1.5C Paris goal.
Even countries with strong climate targets are not on track to meet them, while international finance for poorer countries to help cope with the climate crisis is falling short. If current practices continue, the world is on track for nearly 3C in warming.
“An increasing number of people around the world are suffering from ever more severe and frequent impacts of climate change, yet government action continues to lag behind what is needed,” said Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics, a partner in the new study. “While many governments have committed to net zero, without near-term action achieving net zero is virtually impossible.”
Coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, is still being developed on a large scale by India and China, the report found, while gas infrastructure is being expanded by Australia and the EU.
Jennifer Rokala, executive director for the Center for Western Priorities conservation group, pointed out, “Vision is nothing without action."
Almost daily we have reports from experts that detail the damage being done to the planet by the climate crises and the destruction of our environment. Yet governments procrastinate. They postpone policies rather than act immediately. Governments do what capitalism wishes. The first concern of the capitalists is for profit, and what remains very profitable at the present time will not be eliminated. The capitalist system is built upon the accumulation of capital, which means a need for growth. Contracting the market when there is still scope for returns to shareholders will not be on any board of directors business agenda. There can be no answer to the various climate crises while production-for-profit persists. What is required is a cooperative commonwealth based upon human needs. The fact that we are at the edge of an abyss will not influence investors. They will reluctantly accept a number of reforms if their expectation of financial gains is not threatened. They will happily sell shares in the declining value of fossil fuels and buy into green industries. There is nothing that capitalism cannot fix with money is the mistaken belief held by so many of the ruling class.