Who’s promised net-zero, and who looks likely to get there?

win

(Andrea Boldizsar, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Johnny Wood, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • The Net Zero Challenge report calls for more action to limit global warming.
  • Just 67 countries and eight US states have a net-zero ambition.
  • Even fewer have sufficient policies and legislation in place.
  • Some trends show progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
  • Calls on individuals to put pressure on companies and governments.

Finland, Denmark and Sweden are among the best performers when it comes to achieving carbon neutrality.

They each have strong ambitions that are translated into targets and supported by an effective policy framework, according to The Net Zero Challenge, a new report from the World Economic Forum and BCG.

 

The report looks at the world’s progression to net-zero emissions – when the amount of carbon dioxide released by a country or region on an annual basis is zero or negative. It focuses on the current state of play in countries and companies around the world and calls for more immediate action, both collectively and singularly. It also assesses progress made on the Paris Agreement, under which many governments pledged to attempt to keep a lid on global warming.

Net Zero Challenge Report
CO2 emissions look set to rise if more countries don’t commit to net zero emissions.
Image: The Net Zero Challenge Report – World Economic Forum and BCG

“Commitments made by governments so far are far from sufficient,” the report says. “Only 67 countries – among them none of the top five emitters – have committed to a net-zero goal. And even most countries with this commitment have not enacted robust-enough policies to achieve the emissions reductions required.”

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

The report shows that while much action is going in the right direction, more still needs to be done. Sixty-seven countries assessed have a carbon-neutrality ambition, 16 have translated that into a sector roadmap with targets, while just eight have strong targets supported by an effective policy framework.

Net Zero Challenge Report
Only 16% of respondents put climate change in their top 3 concerns.
Image: The Net Zero Challenge Report – World Economic Forum and BCG

Many of the leading countries have enshrined their policies in law or formed cross-party coalitions to tackle the issues and set plans in motion.

Finland plans to be carbon neutral by 2035, in an agreement between five parties that took more than a month to negotiate. The government is set to review the target in 2025.

Sweden’s Climate Act entered into force in January 2018, enacting a strict roadmap for the government to follow. While the long-term target is net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest, the plan sets out lots of concrete steps along the way.

In Denmark, new climate laws target carbon neutrality by 2050 with a robust monitoring system. It also sets out new legally binding targets that will be set every five years.

Net Zero Challenge Report
Governments and corporates still have a long way to go to show real progress in tackling emissions.
Image: The Net Zero Challenge Report – World Economic Forum and BCG

The report calls on other governments to unilaterally enact national regulation for reducing emissions with “ambitious policy frameworks that include a meaningful price on greenhouse gas emissions, but also sector-specific regulations and incentives promoting remedies such as a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies, electric mobility, efficiency, green building standards – supported by accelerated innovation.”

It says that while the world as a whole is moving slowly, leaders at a national and corporate level could make quicker inroads. Ultimately, one of the biggest responsibilities lies with individuals, who can put pressure on governments and businesses to take action.

“We have seen a surge in public pressure and global activism in recent years, especially among the youth and in Western countries,” the report says. “Much more – and geographically broader – citizen and consumer awareness is needed, however, to trigger a turnaround in public perception on a global scale.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

These 5 countries are home to more than half the world’s forests

IMF – World Bank meetings: US – Germany clash instituted, anti-globalization prospects visualized

Could Rwanda become Africa’s healthcare leader?

Inequality threatening human development, new global UN report warns

Big oil’s climate pledges will fail without workforce equality

Taxation: Commission refers Hungary to the Court for failing to apply the minimum EU excise duty on cigarettes

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

EU Commission and ECB rebuff Germany on the Banking Union

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Women boost work profits, saving biodiversity, UK loses Chagos Islands vote, Gaza funding, malaria-free in Argentina, Algeria

Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

How young people are turning the tide against corruption

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

6 ways social innovators are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Can agroforestry save India’s rivers and the farms that depend on them?

‘Historic’ moment: Palestine takes reins of UN coalition of developing countries

‘Ground Zero’: Report from the former Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

In Marrakech, UN chief urges world leaders to ‘breathe life’ into historic global migration pact

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

One good reason to feel less blue about the future of our oceans

How TV has brought mental health issues into the light – and helped to banish stigma

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

COVID-19: Why we must take the widescreen view of workforce uncertainty

Libya’s migrants and refugees with tuberculosis ‘left to die’ in detention centres

EU long-term budget deal must be improved for Parliament to accept it

European Commission Joint Research Centre opens world-class laboratories to researchers

UN chief welcomes start of Church-mediated national dialogue in Nicaragua

Longer hours, more emails and shorter meetings – working from home in the time of COVID

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

The Fourth Industrial Revolution needs a social revolution, too. Here’s how we can make this happen

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

Commission welcomes political agreement on the ESF+

So different, so close – for two twinning cities

Technology companies have power. They must assume responsibility

Renewable energy could power the world by 2050. Here’s what that future might look like

Around 260,000 children in DR Congo’s Kasai region suffering severe acute malnutrition

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

Unity, regional cooperation and international support needed for Horn of Africa to develop sustainably

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

How COVID-19 might help us win the fight against climate change

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

What living abroad does to your self-awareness

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

Parliament: No consent to EU budget until €11.2 billion unpaid bills are settled

Repression, use of force risk worsening Bolivia crisis: UN human rights chief

How quantum computing could beat climate change

Long-term EU budget: It is not possible to do more with less, say MEPs

As we switch to cleaner energy, there are three dangers we must not overlook

The issues of practicing medicine in Pakistan

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

The China-US trade deal will be signed on time; the path is set

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s