Date
11 December 2017
A climate march prior to the opening session of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn  earlier this month. Photo: Reuters
A climate march prior to the opening session of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn earlier this month. Photo: Reuters

Climate efforts by China, India to offset Trump inaction: study

Global warming is likely to be slightly less severe than previously expected thanks to stronger climate policies by China and India that will offset less US action under President Donald Trump, a study showed, Reuters reports.

But average world temperatures are still on track to rise far above the key goal set in the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, researchers were quoted as saying in the latest Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report.

According to the CAT report, a study involving three independent European research groups, current policies mean the world is headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees it predicted a year ago.

“This is the first time since the CAT began tracking action in 2009 that policies at a national level have visibly reduced its end of century temperature estimate,” Reuters cited the report as saying.

China is on track to over-achieve its pledge under the Paris Agreement to peak its carbon emissions by 2030, the report said. And India is also making progress to limit a surge in emissions driven by more coal use.

“It is clear who the leaders are here: in the face of US inaction, China and India are stepping up,” Reuters quoted Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, one of the research groups involved in the study, as saying.

Trump, who doubts that climate change is primarily caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions, said in June that he would instead focus on promoting jobs in the US fossil fuel industry.

Hare told Reuters that it is too early to say that global emissions are peaking.

“While China and India’s emissions growth has slowed, they are still growing,” especially in India, he said.

“The most fundamental step to halt the global emissions growth now is for coal plants to be phased out in many countries.”

On Monday, another report said that man-made carbon dioxide emissions were on target to rise by 2 percent in 2017, dashing hopes that they had peaked. The main driver was a 3.5 percent rise by China in 2017.

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RC

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