Mar 29, 2022 - Energy & Environment

The climate promise vs. policy gap is huge

Two hands meeting to pinky swear

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A detailed new analysis puts a finer point on a troubling climate trend: Nations' policy moves are tepid compared to their ambitious emissions goals.

Driving the news: "While G20 governments made unprecedented promises in 2021, none has implemented sufficient policies to plausibly achieve deep decarbonization, though some are closer than others," the research firm BloombergNEF said in a report.

Why it matters: G20 nations account for roughly 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Global emissions haven't even begun the steep decline needed to keep the Paris agreement temperature goals within reach.

The big picture: BloombergNEF ranks G20 nations on a 0%-100% score in several areas, including the power, transport, buildings and industry.

  • "A total of 11 out of the 19 nations upped their total scores this year, with an average for the whole group of 52% out of 100% — up 1 point from last year’s Policy Scoreboard. Hence, there remains plenty of room for improvement," the firm said in a summary of the findings.

What they're saying: "Government pledges often get the headlines and promises made around COP26 last year were impressive," BloombergNEF policy head Victoria Cuming said in a statement.

  • "But talk is cheap — none of the G-20 countries has implemented sufficient concrete incentives and regulations to achieve what’s been promised.”

Zoom in: The report finds the most progress within the power sector, with an average score of 60%.

  • There are also significant differences between nations. EU states and the U.K. average 75% for their overall scores. The U.S. gained ground to 57%, China slipped slightly to 59%.

Read the analysis

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