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Thursday, September 30 2021 - 16:00
New Energy Transitions Commission Briefing Paper - Six Actions to Limit Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees Celcius
LONDON, September 30, 2021 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) today set out the actions which nations 
and companies could take during the 2020s to deliver the Paris agreement and 
limit global warming to 1.5(degree)C.

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Current national decarbonisation pledges (known as Nationally Determined 
Contributions, or NDCs), made as part of the Paris climate accord, fall far 
short of those needed to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5(degree)C 
above pre-industrial levels. An additional 17-20 Gt of CO2 reductions and a 40% 
reduction in methane emissions would be needed to achieve that objective. But 
the ETC's report Keeping 1.5(degree)C Alive: Closing the Gap in the 2020s, 
describes technologically feasible actions which could close that gap to a 
1.5(degree)C pathway and which could be catalyzed by agreements at the upcoming 
COP26 climate summit in November in Glasgow.

Many of the actions entail minimal cost and would spur further innovation and 
support green economic development; and all of them could be given impetus at 
COP26 via commitments from leading countries and companies, without the need 
for comprehensive international agreement. But two high priority actions -- 
ending deforestation and reducing emissions from existing coal plants -- will 
need to be supported by climate finance flows from rich developed countries.

The recommendations cover six areas: cutting methane emissions, ending 
deforestation and other nature-based solutions, moving faster beyond coal, 
accelerating road transport electrification, decarbonising key industrial and 
other "harder to abate" sectors, and achieving improvements in energy 

"To keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees alive, the world 
must act now to halve emissions over the next decade, and work towards net zero 
by the middle of the century," said COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma. 
"This report sets out a clear and credible action plan of achievable emissions 
to get us on a 1.5 degree pathway. Ahead of COP26, we urge all countries to 
submit enhanced plans to reduce emissions and take action on coal, cars, trees 
and methane."

"Current national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a useful 
step forward but far from sufficient to limit global warming to an acceptable 
level," commented Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission. 
"But we have the technologies to achieve far faster reductions, often at nil or 
low cost, and this report shows how. And much of what needs to be done does not 
require comprehensive international agreements, but can be driven forward by 
coalitions of leading countries and companies. COP26 must be the catalyst to 
seizing this opportunity."

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26, said: "The ETC 
highlights the critical actions for nations and companies to Keep 1.5(degree)C. 
Alive. Rallying leadership and global support is at the heart of the Race to 
Zero and the ETC's recommendations demonstrate that it is technically and 
economically feasible to achieve collective action in the next decade. Momentum 
is building and it is now crucial that we focus on rapid deployment in the 
2020s, if we are to limit global warming to 1.5(degree)C."

The six categories of action identified by the ETC are:

 1. Significant and rapid reductions in methane emissions. The latest report
    from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that 
    methane emissions have accounted for around 40% of past global warming, 
    and reducing these emissions  is the most powerful lever available to limit 
    global warming as soon as possible. But many NDCs place insufficient focus 
    on methane. Low-cost actions could cut fossil fuel related emissions by 
    60% by 2030, while emissions arising from agriculture and waste management 
    could potentially be cut by 30%. 
 2. Halting deforestation and beginning reforestation. Halting 
    deforestation, beginning reforestation and improving other land use 
    practices could reduce emissions by 6.5Gt per year by 2030. Achieving 
    this will require financial support from rich developed countries and 
    should be a priority use of committed climate finance. 
 3. Decarbonising the power sector and accelerating the phaseout of coal. 
    Coal-fired electricity generation is the single biggest source of 
    greenhouse gas emissions, but it is increasingly uneconomic against 
    renewables. An immediate ban on the construction of new coal-fired power 
    plants, combined with a phaseout of existing coal plants could deliver 3.5 
    Gt of additional emissions reductions per year by 2030. All rich developed 
    countries should commit to total phase out by2030, and climate finance 
    flows from developed economies should support a gradual phase out in 
    developing countries. 
 4. Accelerating the electrification of road transport. The shift to 
    electric vehicles (EVs) promises to save consumers money in fuel costs and 
    maintenance while eliminating one of the largest sources of air pollution. 
    A ban on selling internal combustion engine light duty vehicles, instituted 
    by 2035, would cement this shift.  Commitments by major fleet operators to 
    fully electrify their vehicle fleets at still earlier dates would be a 
    powerful driver of change. An additional 2.3 Gt per year of emission 
    reductions could result from such actions by 2030.
 5. Accelerating supply decarbonisation in buildings, heavy industry, and 
    heavy transport. Eliminating emissions from these sectors will extend 
    beyond 2030. But progress in technology and cost reduction is making 
    possible faster reductions than most NDCs currently assume. Commitments by 
    leading companies and countries in steel, cement, shipping and aviation 
    could deliver an additional 1 Gt per year of emissions reductions, with a 
    further 1 GT per year potentially delivered through accelerated 
    electrification of electric heat. 
 6. Reinvigorating energy and resource efficiency. Despite big 
    opportunities to achieve low-cost emissions reduction via improvements in 
    energy and resource efficiency, recent progress has been disappointingly 
    slow. But progress could be accelerated via action at COP26, building on 
    existing initiatives to spur efficiency improvements in buildings and 

Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, ReNew Power, said: "Country NDCs 
fall well short of what is needed to limit global temperature rise by 
1.5(degree)C. More ambitious goals with targeted actions in the energy sector, 
with specific actions across electricity, transport, industries and buildings 
are needed. These must be backed by speedy deployment of zero-carbon power, 
proven emission reduction technologies, creation of the right policy 
environment to ensure technology diffusion in all sectors. The steps we take 
now will determine the kind of planet we leave as our legacy." 

Note to Editors 

This report constitutes a collective view of the Energy Transitions Commission. 
Members of the ETC endorse the general thrust of the arguments made in this 
report but should not be taken as agreeing with every finding or 
recommendation. The institutions with which the Commissioners are affiliated 
have not been asked to formally endorse the report.

To read the full Keeping 1.5(degree)C Alive: Closing the Gap in the 2020s 
report, please visit: (Live at 
7:00GMT 30/09/21).

For further information please visit the ETC website at

The list of ETC Commissioners can be found here. [ 

Quotes from our Commissioners: The list of quotes from our ETC Commissioners 
can be found here. [ ] 

Source: Energy Transitions Commission (ETC)