Tuesday, January 31

The Paris Agreement in danger: “No G-20 country fulfilled it in 2021”

Boxberg plant, Germany. / Eph

A PwC report shows that the world’s major economies are not doing everything possible to reduce CO2 emissions and fulfill their promises

Jose A. Gonzalez

The image of the 2015 Climate Summit (COP21) in Paris left an image and a text for History. The photo immortalized the great leaders of the time with joy and victory after arduous negotiations to agree on a text that archived the mythical Kyoto Protocol. Substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions is necessary to limit global temperature rise this century to 2°C and strive to limit this rise to even more than just 1.5°C. .

A precept signed by 192 countries plus the European Union. Seven years later, “none of the countries that make up the group of the twenty most developed economies in the world (G-20) are decarbonizing their economies fast enough to be able to limit global warming of the planet to 1.5ºC in 2050.” This is how forceful is the conclusion of the Net Zero Economy Index published by the consultancy PwC. “If we want to meet the objectives set out in the Paris Agreement -and endorsed last year at COP26-, we should reduce carbon emissions in the world by an average of 15.2% per year,” he adds.

Sign Paris Agreement. /


A percentage of reduction “never seen” and that is far from the 0.5% cut with which last year closed, “the lowest level in ten years.” The formula of the study, measures the reduction of carbon intensity understood as CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, leaves in a bad position the impulse and action of the governments of the main world economies.

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More increase than reduction

The research reveals that nine of the twenty largest economies on the planet, which account for 80% of emissions from energy use, increased their emissions intensity.

China managed to reduce carbon intensity by 2.8%, while the United States (0.1%), India (2.9%), Japan (0.6), Germany (1.7%) and France (1 .4%) have seen an increase due, in part, to the recovery from the pandemic.

“The results of the year 2021 remind us that we must act urgently if we want to reach a net zero economy. Countries as a whole, and individually all public and private organizations, must substantially accelerate the current trend of reducing absolute emissions”, warns Pablo Bascones, partner responsible for Sustainability and Climate Change at PwC.

Along these lines, in 2021, Spain increased the intensity of its emissions by 4.39% compared to the previous year. Despite this, the intensity of emissions in Spain is at the same level as the EU average and below the world average, this being 132 tCO2/$m GDP in Spain and 266 tCO2/$m globally. GDP. “The recovery of energy consumption after the stoppage of activity due to the pandemic in 2020, accompanied by a higher rate of fuel consumption over total primary energy, has led to a worsening of the intensity of emissions in Spain compared to the year 2020”, explains Bascones.

However, the study considers that, despite these data, companies continue to promote the climate agenda, motivated by changes in the regulatory and consumer environment, and by the greater recognition by investors of the importance of a transition towards low carbon emissions. “If we fail in this task, the costs of adapting to climate change will continue to increase,” says Bascones.


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