Climate agenda 2030

COP 21 Results
Countries' Commitments Overview
Existing climate agreements:
Kyoto Protocol: 2008–2012 (first commitment period); 2012–2020 (second commitment period)
Paris Agreement: 2021–2030

INDC — Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Documents provided by countries containing their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2021–2030. In total, the national targets do not meet the "2 Degree Target", they lead to warming of about about 3 degrees.

RES — renewable energy sources.

GHG – greenhouse gases. Hereinafter GHG values – net zero anthropogenic GHG emissions from all sectors, data by World Resource Institute.
Countries with a share greater than 3% of global emissions


GHG emissions in 2012: 10,975 MtCO2
(share of global emissions 24,5%)
Climate policy in China is becoming an important component of inclusive growth based on the country's low-carbon development. Since 2009, the Chinese leadership has adopted a range of strategic documents, plans and programs specifying the measures to combat global climate change as control GHG emissions.

The main focus is on:

— Optimizing production structure;
— Energy conservation;
— Energy efficiency;
— Optimizing the fuel and energy balance structure;
— Increasing carbon absorption in forests;
— Controlling GHG emissions outside the energy sector.

By 2014, carbon intensity of GDP had decreased by 33.8% compared with 2005, the share of non-fossil fuels in the energy balance had increased by 11.2%, installed capacity of RES production and had expanded dramatically, and forest area had increased greatly.

As the second largest economy and the major emitter of GHGs in the world, China has made the fight against climate change a top priority. According to its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the following targets have been set for 2030:

— To achieve peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or earlier;
To lower carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP (the ratio of the total volume of carbon dioxide emissions to the country's GDP per year) by 60–65% from the 2005 level;
— To increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%;
— To increase the forest stock volume by around 4.5 billion cubic metres from the 2005 level.

Pilot GHG emissions trading systems have been launched in seven regions and major cities in recent years. In addition, China is actively promoting the concept of low-carbon development at the municipal level. Pilot programs for low-carbon development have been launched in 42 provinces and cities in the country that require administrative entities to implement systems for measuring and controlling GHG emissions, as well as to work out plans for reducing them.


GHG emissions in 2012: 6253 MtCO2
(share of global – 13,9%)
The U.S. political system is a complex mechanism of checks and balances that currently acts as an obstacle to a large-scale and comprehensive program to combat climate change being approved amid the growing competitiveness of developing economies in Asia, specifically, China and India. Environmental protection legislation in the United States is based on a combination of laws, normative and legislative acts and juridical mechanisms.

A range of measures has been implemented since 2009, including:
— Approving fuel economy standards for low- and heavy-tonnage vehicles (in accordance with the Clean Air Act);
— Reducing GHG emissions in the construction sector, including introducing standards for 29 categories of appliances and equipment (in accordance with the Energy Policy Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act);
— Approving alternatives to the use of hydrofluorocarbons with high greenhouse potential (in accordance with the Clean Air Act).

The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of the United States prepared for the conference in Paris aims to reduce GHG emissions by 26–28% by 2025 from the 2005 level. These plans look rather ambitious, considering the fact that, previously, the target had been to reduce GHG emissions by 17% by 2020. Reducing emissions by an additional 9–11% after 2020 means that the United States would have to almost double its annual rate of reducing emissions to around 2.3–2.8%.

At present, the United States is taking the following measures: it is introducing special mechanisms for regulating and reducing GHG emissions in new and operating power plants; continuing its work on implementing fuel economy standards for heavy-tonnage vehicles; developing measures to reduce methane emissions from landfills, the oil and gas sector, etc.

Substantial global emission reductions are needed to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, and the 2025 target is consistent with a path to deep decarbonization. This target is consistent with a straight line emission reduction pathway from 2020 to deep, economy-wide emission reductions of 80% or more by 2050. The target is part of a longer range, collective effort to transition to a low-carbon global economy as rapidly as possible.

The target reflects a planning process that examined opportunities under existing regulatory authorities to reduce emissions in 2025 of all greenhouse gases from all sources in every economic sector.


GHG emissions in 2012: 4399.1 MtCO2
(share of global emissions – 9,8%)
Combatting climate change is a priority for the European Union. This much is clear from its ambitious policy in the area. The European Union has earmarked 20% of its 2014–2020 budgetary for mitigating the effects of climate change and developing methods of adaptation. The European Union has been at the forefront of the fight against global climate change for a number of years now, taking on significant liabilities, first under the Kyoto Protocol, and now under the Paris Agreement.

It is worth noting that there are disagreements within the European Union with regard to the rigidity of the commitments taken – primarily between Western European countries, which insist upon the most ambitious targets on the one hand, and Central and Eastern European Countries, many of which are experiencing an industrial revolution and thus have fewer opportunities to reduce emissions, on the other.

By 2020, the European Union aims to reduce GHG emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, in accordance with the 2020 Climate & Energy Package (along with an increase in the share of RES in the energy balance and increasing energy efficiency by 20%). GHG emissions have already been decreased by around 19%, so the 20% target is likely to be reached. What is more, emissions per capita have been reduced significantly, from 12 tCO2 in 1990 to 9 tCO2 in 2012.

Target set as part of the Paris Agreement: to reduce emissions by 40% before 2030 (from 1990 levels).

By 2030, the European Union also plans to increase the share of renewables in its energy balance and improve energy efficiency by 27%. In the longer term (by 2050), it plans to reduce GHG emissions by 80–95% from the 1990 levels. In 2011, the Roadmap for Moving to a Competitive Low Carbon Economy in 2050 was adopted, which details various methods for achieving this target, including long-term investments. Particular attention is paid to reducing emissions in the energy and transport sectors, for which there are separate road maps.

It is believed that increasing energy efficiency and transitioning to low-carbon development will boost the EU's economy: it will create jobs and strengthen competitiveness within the European Union.
"The EU and its 28 Member States are fully committed to the UNFCCC negotiating process with a view to adopting a global legally binding agreement applicable to all Parties at the Paris Conference in December 2015 in line with the below 2°C objective."


GHG emissions in 2012: 3013,8 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 6,7%)
India is not enlisted in the Annex I of the Kyoto Protocol and has no goals to reduce emissions within its framework. However, India participates actively in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that has let the country implement a large number of low-carbon development projects on its territory.
At the moment India has a voluntary target to reduce by 2020 carbon intensity of GDP by 20-25% from the 2005 level. It should be noted that agricultural sector is completely excluded.

India's target under the Paris Agreement is to reduce GHG emissions per GDP unit by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Moreover, India has set the following goals:
— to increase by 2030 the share of electricity generation capacities using RES by 40% (with the help of technological exchange and Green climate fund financing);
— Increasing carbon absorption in forests by 2,5-3 billion tonnes.

India's INDC concentrates on adapting to climate change, need to invest into programs on the reduction of vulnerability in agriculture and water supply system in coastal areas and on islands.
In order to implement the targets India is planning to use both its own budget and international climate funding. According to its estimates, in 2015-2030 in order to adapt to climate change India will need $206 billion and $834 billion to alleviate it.


GHG emissions in 2012: 2322.2 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 5,2%)
Russia made every effort to implement the Kyoto Protocol. However, in 2012, the country opted out of the Protocol's second commitment period. Participation in the first commitment period did not require any special steps from Russia, as it was expected to keep emissions at 1990 levels by 2012. In large part as result of the decline in industrial production in the country, emissions had already dipped 38% below the required limit by 2000. In 2012, emissions were 31.8% below the set limits.

By 2020, Russia aims to reduce GHG emissions to 75% of 1990 levels or lower. Almost no additional measures beyond the current energy consumption policy are required for this target to be met (the plan is to reduce energy consumption by 44% before 2030).

Russia's target as part of the Paris agreement is to reduce GHG emissions to 70–75% of 1990 levels by 2030, provided that the maximum absorption capacity of forests is reached.

Russia's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution contains a comment on the importance of taking forest emissions into account. Russian forests account for 25% of the world's forest resources, consuming 500 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Russia has identified two conditions that need to be met in order to further reduce emissions (30%): taking forest management into account and getting the major emitters to participate in the agreement.

Laws and regulatory documents for achieving the declared INDCs by 2030 are to be developed and adopted. Reducing GHG emissions along the planned trajectory will allow Russia to start moving towards low-carbon development and ensure its contribution to the long-term goal of reducing global warming.

Renewable energy sources can play an important role in reducing GHG emissions in Russia. As the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Sergei Donskoi has noted, serious investments are to be made in the medium- and long-term into the development of renewable energy sources – a total of $53 billion by 2035.

Russia's GDP for 2012 was 172.9% of the 2000 level. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions (excluding land use, land-use change and forestry) were just 111.8% of 2000 emissions. This demonstrates that the significant GDP growth in this period was accompanied by a minimal increase in emissions.


GHG emissions in 2012: 1344.6 MtCO2
(share of global emissions
Japan is the sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. The country is an Annex I Party to the Kyoto Protocol, although, like Russia, it refused to participate in the Protocol's second commitment period.

The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had a significant impact on Japan's climate policy. The partial destruction of the plant led to a reduction in the amount of atomic energy generated and an increase in the amount of coal energy produced. The latter, in turn, greatly increased GHG emissions, which in 2014 were almost 15% higher that their 1990 levels.

In early 2012, Japan set a target of reducing emissions by 25%. However, the new administration that came into power at the end of the year revised the plan, with the new target being set at a 3.8% reduction of emissions from 2005 levels. But this figure does not include reduced emissions as a result of atomic energy use.

In April 2014, the Japanese government approved its Strategic Energy Plan which, in addition to previously approved components (energy security, environmental protection and efficient energy supplies), designated another – namely, security. What is more, the new plan abandoned the idea of banning the use of nuclear power outright by 2030, which could lead to a greater reduction of GHG emissions.

Japan's target under the Paris Agreement is to reduce GHG emissions by 26% by 2030 from 2013 levels.

The measures that Japan is taking in different sectors of the economy to reduce GHG emissions are described in greater detail in the country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. If Japan reaches its GHG emission reduction target, then this will help limit the effects of global warming. What is more, as a developed country, Japan intends to reduce emissions by at least 50%, and as much as 80%, by 2050.

The priority areas for Japan in terms of moving towards a low-carbon economy are:
— To improve the energy efficiency of buildings;
— To increase the share of energy efficient vehicles from 50% currently to 70% by 2030;
— To increase the share of RES in electricity production to 20–24% by 2020.

"Towards achieving the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC, in order to hold the increase in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, it is indispensable to take measures for long-term emission reductions globally. Japan will contribute proactively to these long-term reductions, through its GHG emission reduction measures presented in its INDC, and through actions that will be continuously taken into the future such as development and diffusion of low-carbon technologies and transition to a low-carbon socio-economic structure."
Countries with a share of 1-3% of global emissions


GHG emissions in 2012: 1013 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 2,3%)
Climate policy in Brazil traditionally attaches great significance to the use of biomass power in economic activity, specifically in electricity production. Historically, deforestation of the rain forests has been a major source of GHG emissions, although in the last decade, the country's leadership has managed to significantly reduce the rate at which they are being cut down. Emissions have slowed down significantly compared to the BAU scenario as a result.

The Brazilian government carries out the following measures:
— increasing the share of biofuels in the energy mix by expanding the use of ethanol and biodiesel;
— preserving forests by strengthening legal mechanisms, improving forest management systems, and restoring 12 million hectares of forests by 2030;
— increasing the share of RES in the energy mix to 45% by expanding the use of hydropower and other non-fossil energy sources, as well as by increasing the energy efficiency of the economy.

Brazil's INDC corresponds to an estimated reduction of 66% in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP (emissions intensity) in 2025, and of 75% in terms of emissions intensity in 2030, both in relation to 2005.

In the energy sector, achieving 45% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030, including:
— expanding the use of renewable energy sources other than hydropower in the total energy mix to between 28% and 33% by 2030;
— expanding the use of non-fossil fuel energy sources domestically, increasing the share of renewables (other than hydropower) in the power supply to at least 23% by 2030, including by raising the share of wind, biomass and solar;
— achieving 10% efficiency gains in the electricity sector by 2030.


GHG emissions in 2012: 724 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 1,6%)
Mexico's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the fight against climate change consists of two parts – an unconditional part and a conditional part. The unconditional part includes reducing GHG emissions by 22%, and carbon emissions by 51%, by 2030 relative to the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario for the development of the economy.

In terms of signing an international agreement (covering emissions price regulation, carbon taxes, technological cooperation, technology exchange and access to concessional financing), Mexico is prepared to reduce GHG and carbon emissions by 36% and 70%, respectively.

Mexico's National Climate Change Strategy highlighted eight key areas of the country's climate policy:
— Reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of the social sector to the effects of climate change;
— Reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of strategic infrastructure and production systems to the effects of climate change;
— Conserve and use the sustainability of ecosystems and maintain the ecosystem services they provide;
— Accelerate the energy transition towards clean energy sources;
— Reduce energy intensity through efficiency and responsible consumption schemes;
— Shift towards models of sustainable cities with mobility systems, integrated waste management, and low-carbon footprint buildings;
— Promote best practices in agriculture and forestry to increase and preserve natural carbon sinks;
— Reduce emissions of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), and promote co-benefits in health and wellbeing.


GHG emissions in 2012: 714 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 1,6%)
Canada's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution consists of reducing GHG emissions by 30% compared with 2005 levels by 2030. A significant role in achieving this goal will be played by increasing forest reserves, which will go some way towards compensating for emissions produced by the industrial sector. Canada has participated in international climate regulation in the past, but opted out of the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period having not fulfilled its obligations.

The most important components of Canada's energy policy are: the search for low-carbon power; the establishment of strict standards for fossil-fuel power stations; a ban on the construction of old-style power plants; and the gradual closure of coal power plants. The transport sector accounts for a quarter of all GHG emissions in Canada. This is why the government is actively working with the United States on standardizing vehicles.

The Canadian government is also working on changing the laws regarding the regulation of hydrofluorocarbon and methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, as well as emissions from gas power stations and chemical and nitrogen fertilizers.

"Canada has one of the cleanest electricity systems among G7 and G20 nations and one of the cleanest in the world, with almost 80% of our electricity supply already emitting no greenhouse gases. Since 2011, Canada's per capita greenhouse gas emissions have been at their lowest levels since tracking began in 1990 while the economy has continued to grow. Canada is making progress in reducing our emissions – from 2005 to 2013, Canadian greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 3.1% while the economy grew by 12.9%."

Republic of Korea

GHG emissions in 2012: 693.3 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 1,5%)
In 2009, South Korea announced its goal, independently of any international agreement, to reduce GHG emissions by 30% before 2020 (compared to the BAU scenario).

The principle measures it employs in order to achieve this goal include:
— An emissions trading scheme (effective from 2015);
— A necessary share of electricity generation using RES;
— Increasing energy efficiency in the construction sector;
— Increasing efficiency in the transport sector (the plan is to implement more stringent CO2 emissions standards, from 140 g/km in 2015 97 g/km by 2020).

South Korea's target under the Paris Agreement is to reduce GHG emissions by 37% compared to the BAU scenario (850.6 MtCO2) by 2020.

South Korea's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution notes that the target concerns energy, industrial, agricultural and waste management emissions. The decision on whether or not to include land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) will be taken at a later date.

The potential for reducing emissions in South Korea is not great because the country is highly industrialized, and has already achieved significant results in terms of improving energy efficiency.
South Korea has also included a section on climate change and methods of adaptation in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, which is essential for monitoring, predicting and preventing natural disasters.

"Korea has set a target for 2030, which is expected to be in line with the recommendations of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70% from 2010 levels by 2050."


GHG emissions in 2012: 648.2 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 1,4%)
Australia participated in international climate regulation before the Paris Agreement, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2007. Greenhouse gas emissions more or less stabilized during the first commitment period, totalling 648.2MrCO2.

Australia has set a target of reducing emissions by just 5% in the period up until 2020 compared with 2000 levels (or by 13% from 2005 levels). It should be noted that this goal takes LULUCF into account – otherwise, it represents a 26% increase in emissions since 1990. Taking the available opportunities to reduce emissions and the cost of technology into consideration, Australia has set its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution at between 26% and 28%, depending on the circumstances. What is more, it has reserved the right to review its targets.

Australia took a "step backwards" in its climate policy when it abolished carbon tax, casting doubt on the country's ability to meet its targets for 2020 and 2030. However, the Emissions Reduction Fund, worth $2.6 billion, finances projects to improve energy efficiency and industrial productivity.
Countries with a share of less than 1% of global emissions


GHG emissions in 2012: 338 648.2 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 0,8%)
Given the need in Argentina to stimulate economic development and tackle poverty, combatting climate change is not high on the country's agenda. Argentina is nevertheless involved in international climate regulation and is taking steps towards developing its national legislation in this area.
Greenhouse gas emissions have increased in Argentina since 1990, and the trend looks like it going to continue.

Argentina has two kinds of obligations under the Paris Agreement: conditional (the implementation of which depends on a number of circumstances) and unconditional (which must be carried out no matter what).

The unconditional target is to reduce GHG emissions (including net zero anthropogenic GHG emissions from all sectorsLULUCF) by 15% before 2020 with respect to BAU emissions for that year.

In order for this target to be met, a number of measures are to be implemented. These include developing sustainable forest management, improving energy efficiency, increasing the use of biofuels, atomic energy and RES, as well as measures in the transport sector. These measures have been chosen according to their potential for reducing emissions, as well as for the fact that national technologies could be developed as a result of carrying them out.

The 15% target could be increased to 30% if the following conditions are met:
  1. obtaining sufficient and predictable international financing;
  2. supporting technological and innovation development;
  3. supporting the development of new capacities in the energy sector.

It is very likely that Argentina will reach its unconditional target. Assuming that it receives support in the form of international financing for technology development, Argentina plans to improve its early warning systems for natural disasters and improve its measures for the conservation of biodiversity.

New Zealand

GHG emissions in 2012: 76.6 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 0,2%)
New Zealand is another country that has opted out of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The country has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% with respect to 1990 levels by 2020. Right now, it is looking unlikely that New Zealand will be able to reach this target. Emissions peaked in 2006, before falling gradually until 2009. They have been on the increase since then.

That being said, New Zealand still became party to the Paris Agreement and has announced a target of reducing GHG emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 (which is equal to an 11% decrease with respect to 1990 levels).

New Zealand is one of the few countries that has stated its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution will be implemented under the condition of unrestricted access to global carbon markets. This means that it plans to use the emission reduction units that it had left over from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Nothing has been said about this yet in the Paris Agreement.


GHG emissions in 2012: 56.1 MtCO2
(share of global emissions 0,1%)
The potential for reducing GHG emissions in Singapore is low because the country depends heavily on energy resource imports and is limited in terms of how much renewable energy it can use. Today, 90% of electricity is generated from natural gas, which requires less carbon than coal. Because the country is highly vulnerable to climate change, it is ready to do its part in terms in reducing global emissions.

In 2009, Singapore pledged to reduce emissions to between 7% and 11% below the BAU level by 2020. Because emissions in Singapore have trended upwards over the past ten years, its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution does not envisage a reduction in emissions in absolute terms, but rather in relation to GDP. In 2012, that figure was 0.27 per dollar, which is 30% lower than the 2000 level. Singapore plans to stabilize the total volume of GHG emissions by 2030.

Singapore's target under the Paris Agreement is to reduce GHG emissions per GDP unit by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030 and stabilize emissions after they peak in 2030.

In order to reach this target, Singapore hopes to reduce energy intensity by 35% by 2030 with respect to 2005 levels. What is more, 80% of buildings in Singapore will be classified as "highly efficient" by 2030.

Initiatives taken by Singapore with regard to reducing emissions from transport are particularly interesting. The government has set a target of having public transport account for 75% of all morning and evening rush hour journeys by 2020.


GHG emissions in 2012: 51 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 0,1%)
Switzerland intends to reduce GHG emissions by 2030 to 50% of their 1990 levels, with average reduction being 35% in the 2021–2030 reporting period.

The energy sector in Switzerland emits a relatively small amount of greenhouse gases thanks to the advanced power generation systems at nuclear and hydroelectric power plants. Measures to combat climate change will mainly affect the transport and construction industries.

The Flexible Mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol will play a large role in implementation of Switzerland's obligations. Specifically, Switzerland plans to use the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), purchasing Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs) to reduce the cost of carrying out these obligations.


GHG emissions in 2012: 48 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 0,1%)
The Norwegian leadership has initiated a number of programmes and measures to promote renewable energy. Specifically, the Offshore Energy Act provides subsidies for heating systems and energy efficient buildings, promotes the use of wood for energy purposes, gets renewable energy facilities to connect to the network, etc.

As part of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, Norway has set itself a target of reducing GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. For Norway, the qualitative development of the energy sector is key to the country's prosperity, as well as an instrument for fighting and mitigating the effects of climate change.

The priority instruments for fighting climate change include:
— reduced emissions in the transport sector;
— low emissions technology in industry;
— СО2 capture and storage;
— Renewable energy;
— Environmentally friendly shipping.

Economic mechanisms to limit GHG emissions will continue to play a special role. Carbon tax was introduced in Norway as an instrument of the country's environmental policy in 1991 with respect to fuel consumption and the extraction of energy resources on the continental shelf. What is more, Norway has been a participant in the European Union Emissions Trading System since 2008, which helps lower the costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

Norway's long term goal is to become a low emission society by 2050.


GHG emissions in 2012: 3 MtCO2
(share of global emissions — 0,01%)
A considerable portion of Iceland's primary consumption in its fuel and energy mix is covered by renewable energy. Heating and electricity is provided entirely by renewable energy. This means that the main resource for reducing emissions is in other sectors, specifically, in transport, agriculture, the fishing, industry, waste management, and increasing forest areas.

In terms of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, Iceland has set a target similar to that of the European Union – to reduce GHG emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030.

What is more, particular significance in the fight to reduce and combat the negative effects of climate change has been attached to Iceland's participation in the European Union Emissions Trading System.
Intern researcher at CCEIS HSE
Anna Sokolova
Intern researcher at CCEIS HSE
Ilya Stepanov
Project produced by: Daria Khaspekova, Irina Sorokina, Maria Gurova, Maria Smekalova, Alexander Teslya and Dmitriy Puminov.
© 2016 Russian International Affairs Council,