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Climate: G7, EU still lag 2 C pathway, says monitor

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Climate: G7, EU still lag 2 C pathway, says monitor

Photo © V. ZHURAVLEV - Fotolia

(BONN) - The major industrialised economies are far off track in helping the world meet the UN's global warming target, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

Carbon pledges made by 31 economies -- members of the Group of Seven and the European Union (EU) -- mean that by 2030, they will contribute only 30 percent of the effort they should be, it said.

Further work is needed to ratchet up commitments, said a report of the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) initiative, issued on the sidelines of UN climate talks in Bonn.

Just over six months from now, the 195 countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are meant to seal a pact to ensure warming is limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times.

Laborious and complex, the talks have been dogged by finger-pointing between rich and poor countries over sharing the burden for curbing carbon emissions.

"Ambitious greenhouse-gas reduction proposals by the G7+EU states are central for a successful outcome in Paris," said the CAT analysis.

"These countries are responsible in aggregate for around 30 percent of global greenhouse gases emissions and 40 percent of global GDP."

The CAT, supported by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK) and other German organisations, issues regular assessments on progress towards the 2 C goal.

The latest report looked at G7 and EU submissions to a roster of carbon-curbing pledges at the heart of the envisioned post-2020 world climate pact.

Besides the United States, Canada and Japan, G7 members Britain, France, Germany and Italy also belong to the 28-nation EU.

A team measured the nations' pledges against a "fair and equitable level of effort" required from the rich world for reaching the 2 C goal.

In the case of Japan, the evaluation was made on the basis of pronouncements by the Tokyo government that have not yet been officially submitted to the UNFCCC roster.

By 2025, action by the 31 rich countries would be only 20 percent of the contribution they should be making by that date, CAT said.

By 2030, this would be about 30 percent.

The best performer would be the EU bloc, which has vowed to reduce emissions in 2030 to a level 40 percent below that of 1990.

The laggard would be Canada, whose pledge would bring its emissions to only two percent below 1990 levels.

"Climate action in the G7+EU needs to be strongly upgraded if the group is to meet its promised levels," said a CAT statement.

The initiative called for pledges to be "significantly improved" before Paris, action to deepen carbon cuts before 2020 and a five-yearly review of pledges after 2020 to ensure the world stays on a 2 C trajectory.

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