Promises to Keep

In the run-up to the Paris talks, the major economies have all pledged carbon reductions.

With Saudia Arabia’s pledge last week to cut emission, all of the world’s major economies are now on board.  In a nutshell, here is what they are promising.

Except as noted, the target dates are all 2030.  A number of countries have subsidiary promises in terms of percentage of renewable energy or of bigger cuts premised on international aid, which aren’t included here.

Australia.  26-28% (2005 baseline)
Canada. 30% (2005 baseline).
European Union. 40% (1990 baseline).
Japan. 26% (2013 baseline).
United States. 26-28% (2025 target, 2005 baseline).
Brazil. 37% (2005 baseline, 2025 target).
China. Peak emissions circa 2030. 
India.  33% cut in carbon intensity(2005 baseline). 
Russia. 25-30% (1990 baseline)
Argentina. 15% below business as usual (BAU).
Saudi Arabia. 130 million ton cut in annual emissions.
Indonesia. 29% (BAU baseline).
Mexico. 25% (BAU baseline).
South Africa. Peak emissions by 2025, followed by a plateau and then decline.
South Korea. 37% (BAU baseline).
Turkey. 21% (BAU baseline).
You’ll notice that the EU is promising the most, both in absolute numbers 40% and in the lowest baseline (1990).  Other developed countries are pledging smaller percentages and using a higher 2005 emission level as the baseline. Among the non-developed countries, Brazil’s pledge is notable because it is promising absolute cuts in emissions, not just reductions below business as usual or setting a future peak level.  But the fact that other major  non-developed countries have made pledges is a huge advance over the Kyoto Protocol, which did not require much of anything from them. 

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Reader Comments

3 Replies to “Promises to Keep”

  1. Dan said;
    “…..the fact that other major non-developed countries have made pledges is a huge advance over the Kyoto Protocol, which did not require much of anything from them…..”

    Dear Dan,
    The climate movement has taught us that cutting carbon dioxide emissions and/or telling big fat lies about cutting emissions are equally acceptable. Global carbon dioxide emissions will continue to increase unabated and nothing can change that reality.

    The latest lie – carbon dioxide emissions is the root cause of terrorism????

    1. The Climate Movement has taught me that Cumulative GHG emissions (CO2e) will very likely continue to increase and accelerate, according to the IPCC and everyone else, but its not inevitable; the developed world if it wanted to could do an about face and cut ongoing emissions with a carbon tax and by subsidizing zero carbon or low carbon baseload tech eg fast breeder 4th generation nuclear [best of them] and of course by ending fossil fuel subsidies. See

      Its also true that the fossil fuel industry is the root cause of terrorism; they are behind the US efforts to destabilize the area and access middle east fossil oil since 1953 which of course has destabilized the area and triggered reactions by muslim terrorists.

  2. Dan, you and your LP colleagues are some of the greatest champions for protecting the environment, and the human race, today.

    The most inconvenient fact of life today is that climate changes are accelerating out of control, as current events are proving almost daily, and have become the greatest threat to humanity in history.

    If we don’t educate the public to demand that necessary solutions be implemented immediately, then there can be no hope for the perpetuation of an acceptable quality of life.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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