11 December 2009 People around the world can now keep tabs on countries’ promises and proposals on combating climate change, thanks to a new online tool launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Climate Pledge Tracker was launched today in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nations are currently meeting with the aim of agreeing on an ambitious new agreement.
The new programme will be updated as new proposals are made in the Danish capital, and it compares and consolidates all pledges made to date with the goal of keeping global temperature rise at or under 2 degrees centigrade from pre-industrial levels.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that to stave off the worst effects of climate change, industrialized countries must slash greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, and that global emissions must be halved by 2050.
“With this tracker, everyone – within the [Copenhagen] conference and beyond – can, from their office or living room, monitor the ambition of governments to ‘seal a convincing deal’ by 18 December,” when the gathering is set to end, according to Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.
The tracking system, which will continue to be operational after the Copenhagen conference ends, currently lists the pledges and proposals from 25 countries – including developing economies such as China, India and Costa Rica – and the European Union’s 27 Member States.
It estimates that if the most ambitious existing pledges are fully realized, including with financial support for developing countries, the world would be on track to achieve emissions reductions of 47.5 billion tons by 2020, which is close to what is required to give the world a 50 per cent chance of meeting the 2 degrees centigrade temperature target.
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