According to an international study, the G20 countries are still doing too little to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The greenhouse gas emissions of the 19 industrialized and emerging countries and the European Union are continuing to rise, according to the “Brown to Green” report published by the Climate Transparency network on Monday – three weeks before the start of the UN climate conference in Madrid. Last year, emissions increased by 1.8 percent.
The leading industrial and emerging countries of the G20 are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. According to this, Germany does not do well in the G20 comparison, especially in the areas of transport and buildings, and emissions per capita are well above average. According to the report, no other country in the group is on course for the 1.5-degree target.
The scientists and environmentalists also have an optimistic message: around half of the G20, including the EU, are likely to exceed the climate targets they have set themselves. This would allow them to present new, more ambitious targets in 2020, as foreseen in the Paris Climate Agreement.
In the agreement, almost all countries in the world have undertaken to limit global warming to well below two degrees compared to the pre-industrial era – many states and experts consider the 1.5 degree target to be necessary. The earth has already warmed up by just under one degree. According to climate researchers, if the states only fulfill their current climate protection commitments, it should be 3 degrees by the end of the century – with catastrophic consequences for glaciers and polar ice, coral reefs, biodiversity – and also for humanity.
Climate change is already increasing the risk of extreme heat and cold waves, droughts, severe storms and heavy rain. According to the report, extreme weather events cost around 16,000 lives a year in the G20 countries and lead to economic losses of 142 billion US dollars, around 129 billion euros.
In its climate package, the federal government has primarily targeted the areas of transport and buildings. According to the report, Germany’s CO2 emissions for heating and cooling houses are around 50 percent above the EU average and twice as high as the G20 average. In the case of new buildings, the standards are therefore good by comparison, but would have to be tightened for the climate targets. In terms of transport, Germany’s per capita emissions are also well above the G20 average of 1.13 tonnes of CO2 (excluding air traffic): 1.99 tonnes.
According to the standards of the 1.5-degree report of the UN Climate Change Council, the G20 countries would have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2010, as the experts explain in the “Brown to Green” report. The bottom line is that they should no longer emit greenhouse gases by 2070. This means that any remaining emissions would have to be offset. To do this, the consumption of crude oil, coal and natural gas would have to drop drastically. The G20 countries currently obtain 82 percent of their energy – not only for electricity, but also for transport and heating – from such fossil sources. And the energy demand increases.
“The new” Brown to Green “report shows that there are pioneers among the G20 countries in all relevant areas who are promoting the transition to zero emissions,” says Jan Burck from the non-governmental organization who is one of the authors of the report. “However, this has only happened in some areas so far and is still far too slowly in relation to the entire G20.”
Climate Transparency is supported by and from the Federal Environment Ministry, among others. The “Brown to Green” report has been showing every year since 2015 how the G20 is making progress in climate protection. These are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the USA and the.