Ambition, rigor vary in latest Paris targets


Brazilian wildfires point up a need for countermeasures, such as this controlled burn. (Day’s Edge Productions, WWF)

Over the past year, thirteen Latin American and Caribbean nations have updated their voluntary greenhouse-gas-reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement. In doing so, they have shown dramatically different levels of climate-protection ambition—yet uniformly strong interest in securing the external financing they say they’ll need to decarbonize their economies and adapt to extreme weather events. The updates concern Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the voluntary long-term goals each Paris Agreement signatory must make—and periodically refresh—with respect to greenhouse-gas emissions and climate-change adaptation. The pledges are intended as a pathway to the agreement’s overarching goal: to keep global warming well short of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, preferably no greater than 1.5°C. In theory, Paris signatories must update their targets every five years. Since a number of nations presented their initial NDCs at different times, however, their updates have not been submitted... [Log in to read more]

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