Mission2020, a global coalition of several climate analysis organisations, headed by Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who negotiated the Paris accord. Mission 2020 has calculated that if these milestones are achieved by 2020, it will make the longer-term Paris goals possible – because progress now on reducing emissions will make it easier and cheaper to reduce them in the longer term – and wants to spur sufficient progress on climate change to bring that about. It was set up by the World Resources Institute.
Mission2020 has set milestones, to track whether climate targets are being reached, and tracked progress on each of them. The milestones are:
- Energy – renewables out-compete fossil fuels as new electricity sources worldwide.
- Infrastructure – cities and states are implementing policies and regulations, with the aim to fully decarbonize buildings and infrastructure by 2050;
- Transport – zero emission transport is the preferred form of all new mobility in the world’s major cities and transport routes;
- Land use – large scale deforestation is replaced with large-scale land restoration and agriculture shifts to earth-friendly practices;
- Industry – heavy industry, including iron and steel, cement, chemicals and oil & gas commits to being Paris compliant;
- Finance – investment in climate action is beyond USD $1 trillion per year and all financial institutions have a disclosed transition strategy.
Now, it is reporting that insufficient progress has been made in the milestones to comply with the Paris 2015 target of keeping global warming within 1.5°C.
Removing coal from the global energy mix is taking too long, too many forests are still being destroyed, and fossil fuel subsidies are ongoing despite their distorting effect on the market, the study has found. Coal-fired generation is still increasing, with coal-fired power plants continuing to be built in some areas, while existing plants are not being removed from service fast enough. Electric vehicles, meanwhile, comprise 1.4% of overall sales, making a 2020 milestone of 15% of new car sales hard to reach.
There has also been insufficient progress in agriculture to stop harmful practices that increase carbon dioxide production, and heavy industry is not doing enough to use energy more efficiently.
But the analysis has found important steps forward, on renewable energy, curtailing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, and public sector investment in reducing emissions. These suggest progress in other aspects of tackling climate change is also possible, with greater effort from the public and private sectors.
The Mission2020 website has produced a simple diagram to demonstrate what the targets are (or have been), in order to keep within 1.5°C and to monitor progress with them:
The most important one is 2020, as carbon emissions need to peak (i.e. not get any higher) by then if we are to keep within 1.5°C. If emissions continue to rise after 2020, then it will be too late to keep within 1.5 degrees, as carbon dioxide will have built up in the atmosphere and will take thousands of years to remove.
Further details about the Mission2020 analysis are reported in the Guardian:
An earlier blog I wrote on this website is also relevant to view in this context. It is entitled “Three generations left – or is it only three years? New report published in Nature.”