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  • Sammy Melnick

Net-zero commitments must be backed by credible action

Updated: Jul 1

Along with companies, cities and financial institutions, 131 countries have now set or are considering a target of reducing emissions to net zero by mid-century. While net zero is a critical longer-term goal, steep emissions cuts – especially by the largest greenhouse-gas emitters – are imperative in the next 5 to 10 years in order to keep global warming to no more than 1.5 °C and safeguard a livable climate. Of the 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement, more than 80 countries have so far submitted a new or updated national action plan – called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – as required by the agreement. Their planned combined emissions reductions by 2030 still fall far short of the level of ambition needed to achieve the 1.5 °C goal.

1%

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as defined in current NDCs

45% Emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius

Source: UNFCCC NDC synthesis report (Feb 2021)

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