Cutting Global Greenhouse Emissions

Global Greenhouse Emissions

As of early October 2016, the European Union (EU) formally signed the Paris Climate Agreement, an international consensus aiming to lower the impact of climate change. The agreement, made legal in early November 2016, will be supported by over 70 nations responsible for 57% of global carbon emissions.

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement aims to lower the impact of climate change by limiting warming by 1.5℃ to 2℃. In order to reach and exceed this target, the nations involved must start lowering greenhouse gas emissions and switch to renewable energy sources by 2020. If this is successful, the entirety of global energy will stem from nuclear power, wind and sunlight - and potentially fusion and hydrogen sources.

For the short term, nations will start working towards their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) - voluntary pledges to reduce emissions. Along with these individual pledges, the EU has agreed to cut emissions by a minimum of 40% by 2030, with the United States aiming to lower emissions by at least 26% by 2025. Other nations, with large forest resources, are planning to lower emissions by steering clear of deforestation.

Assisting in the Switch to Renewable Energy

In order to cut emissions globally, many of the more economically developed countries (MEDC) have confirmed they will give an average of $100bn combined each year to help the developing countries convert to clean, renewable energy. The MEDCs are donating this large sum of money because they believe climate change is a result of their actions, so they are responsible for restoring the damaging effects climate change has had over the years. However, if the nations involved in this donation fail to deliver, it could have a large, damaging impact on the agreement, making it extremely difficult for nations who heavily rely on fossil fuels to convert to renewable energy sources.

Although this is a risk, the majority of the developed nations involved are already leading the way to carbon neutrality - when looking at global emissions, developed nations have stabilized.

Making Progress

The process of cutting global emissions has started. Last year the US introduced a new law to reduce power plant emissions by at least 30% by 2030. If sustained, America’s new Clean Power Plan will constitute towards the US’s effort to decarbonize by 2030. Australia have also started their journey to cutting emissions - over 1 million households are now powered from electricity generated directly from the sun.

Even with this progress, we are still not on target for limiting global warming to under 2℃. If we want to reach this target by 2020, it is essential that every nation involved works together, reducing their dependance on fossil fuels and working towards adopting renewable energy as their main source of power.


2EA® are registered Low Carbon Energy Assessors, Consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors, offering both energy management and reduction services ranging from CCL/CHPQA Management to Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) consultancy.

For more information please contact us either by email to info@2ea.co.uk or by calling 01293 521 350.

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