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Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) form the basis of the COP21 Paris agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise “well below” 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Nations outline their INDC plans on cutting their post-2020 emissions.
There is a legal requirement for these INDC plans to be revised ever five years. There is no requirement to state how the reductions will be achieved and there is no legal requirement to achieve the INDC targets. This is surely a major weakness.
The INDC’s of the largest greenhouse gas emitters have set their targets: China has targeted a 60-65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030; the United States, has targeted a 26-28% reduction by 2025; and the European Union has targeted a 40% reduction by 2030.
By maintaining the status quo in terms of carbon emission it is anticipated that the global temperature rise will reach 3.6⁰C by 2100. A recently published assessment (http://climateactiontracker.org/) suggested that the emission reductions currently outlined in the currently submitted INDC’s would result in a global temperature rise by 2.7C.
This figure was generated by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT). CAT is an independent scientific analysis, produced by four research organisations, tracking climate action and global efforts towards the globally agreed aim of holding warming below 2°C.
CAT categorise each of the submitted INDC’s as follows:
|Inadequate||If all governments put forward inadequate positions warming likely to exceed 3–4°C.|
|Medium||Not consistent with limiting warming below 2°C as it would require many other countries to make a comparably greater effort and much deeper reductions.|
|Sufficient||Fully consistent with below 2°C limit.|
|Role Model||More than consistent with below 2°C limit.|
Of the 31 INDC’s that have been reviewed:
It is important to remember that these INDC’s are pledges and not legally binding. None of these countries have a clear plan on how to achieve their INDC targets. So without a coherent plan it is fair to assume that it is more likely that the IDNC targets will be missed rather than exceeded.
There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the state of the job market, new construction and business development in the United States. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. Turn on the television, read a newspaper or grab a magazine and you’re bound to see it. But if you’re in the green, clean or low-carbon sector, there appears to be a big light at the end of the tunnel.
A green jobs infographic released by JobVine highlights some promising statistics. Take a look at green construction, for example. In 2005, only $3 billion was spent on non-residential green construction in the United Sates. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $54 billion. The best part? Non-residential green construction is predicted to be $145 billion by 2015. These are figures that anyone in this space can smile about. With President Obama continuing to push green tax incentives and loan programs, the future is looking good.
we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs — but only if we accelerate the transition. Only if we seize the moment.” — President Obama
From the nationwide increase in green jobs to the projected growth of green construction, it seems the industry is indeed seizing the moment!