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More countries hike climate pledges, piling pressure on major emitters

CommoditiesJul 31, 2021 06:35AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Smoke billows from the chimneys of the Belchatow coal-fired power station in this May 7, 2009, photo. REUTERS/Peter Andrews/File Photo

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A group of mostly smaller countries submitted new, more ambitious climate pledges to the United Nations this week, raising pressure on big emitters including China to do the same ahead of a major U.N. climate summit in November.

U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said that as of Saturday the United Nations had received new pledges from 110 countries, out of the nearly 200 that signed the 2015 Paris climate accord.

"It is still far from satisfactory, since only a little over half the parties (58%) have met the cut-off deadline," Espinosa said in a statement, urging laggards to "redouble their efforts" and make more ambitious commitments to protect the planet.

A total of 15 countries - most of them small and with relatively low CO2 emissions - submitted new pledges this week, ahead of a July 30 deadline for them to be counted in a U.N. report.

They included Sri Lanka, Israel, Malawi and Barbados. Malaysia, Nigeria and Namibia were among the larger countries to submit tougher climate targets this week.

With deadly heatwaves, flooding and wildfires occurring around the world, calls are growing for urgent action to cut the CO2 emissions heating the planet.

But the United Nations' latest analysis of countries' climate pledges said that taken together, they would still lead to global warming far beyond the 1.5 degree limit that would avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"I truly hope that the revised estimate of collective efforts will reveal a more positive picture," Espinosa said.

China - the world's biggest emitter of CO2 - and countries including India and South Korea have not yet submitted new climate pledges. They are facing considerable international pressure to do so ahead of the U.N. climate summit.

The United States and European Union, the world's second and third biggest emitters, hiked their targets in recent months, promising to slash emissions faster this decade.

Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, an island country near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean which is highly vulnerable to rising sea levels, urged rich nations who have not yet hiked their pledges to step up.

"If these major economies submit 1.5C-aligned NDCs, it would make a world of difference," she said. A country's climate pledge is known as a "nationally determined contribution".

Countries that miss the deadline for inclusion in the U.N. report can still submit new pledges before the summit in November, by which time every country is expected to submit a new pledge.

More countries hike climate pledges, piling pressure on major emitters
 

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Comments (8)
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 31, 2021 3:09PM ET
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Scam.  No pressure on China
Kevin Shaughnessy
Kevin Shaughnessy Jul 31, 2021 10:21AM ET
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Nat Gas accounts for all of the US gains
Paul Dunne
Paul Dunne Jul 31, 2021 10:01AM ET
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Someday, research will show that CO2 build-up and climate change are a natural Earth-Sun cycle and not related to human-generred emissions. And then I will be famous for this insight. :)
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour Jul 31, 2021 7:28AM ET
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Lets see. The US and other major countries give and loan money to smaller countries. In order to get that often desperately needed money these governments are required to do certain things. They are required to say certain things verbally and in writing. This is one of those things. It's not actually these small governments putting forth these proposals, it's the US and other large countries who are actually doing it through them. It all is designed to manipulate the perceptions of the general 'first world' citizens- who still have some small power as a group - into supporting worldwide changes in economic, military, and social structures. These changes only benefit a tiny fraction of Homosapiens in the long run. The rest of us? Well, we will do what the Roman farmers did when their country went from a republic to a dictatorship.
GP PS
GP PS Jul 31, 2021 7:26AM ET
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United States are responsible for most of the historical pollution of our planet. United States should be billed trillions of damages. On the contrary they keep harassing other countries and starting conflicts around the world. In the future there might be real economic cooperation between countries. But if uncle Sam is allowed to create chaos and tensions, then there is no hope.
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Jul 31, 2021 7:26AM ET
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No, China is the polluter.
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 31, 2021 7:26AM ET
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You have no idea what you are talking about.
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 31, 2021 7:26AM ET
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It is 3rd world and China now the major polluters, for 3 decades
WILLIAM HAGERTY
WILLIAM HAGERTY Jul 31, 2021 7:20AM ET
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is this evet going to end!
Yankee Steve
Yankee Steve Jul 31, 2021 7:14AM ET
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Because it is s farce and it is a scheme to make more money with this ESG BS
Yankee Steve
Yankee Steve Jul 31, 2021 7:13AM ET
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If country like Germany where Klaus Schwab the WEF chairman lives care about carbon footprint, why are they shutting down all the nuclear power plants? Why are they exempting owner of private jets from carbon tax? Isn’t natural gas also leaving carbon footprint? https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN25E1DR
Green Mango
Green Mango Jul 31, 2021 7:13AM ET
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Thank you, awake the masses
 
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