Thursday, 22 October 2015

In December, world leaders and climate negotiators will meet at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - known as “Paris 2015” - to decide on a new global climate treaty.

Countries are determining their own contributions to the Paris conference. Each country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution takes into account their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities, and outlines their post-2020 climate change action plan.

Below you can view and compare each country’s pledges and see how a country’s pledge compares to its own emissions history. (The 28 nations of the European Union have pledged as one group, known as EU28.)

Featured nation pledges for Paris 2015

The below nations represent 00% of global green house gas emissions.

Map View | List View

Denotes EU member nations pledging as one group (EU28)
Denotes SBS Radio interview (located underneath the charts)
Instructions for viewing charts
  • On smaller devices/browsers, only a single country chart is displayed. At larger widths, two charts are shown.
  • Select a country by clicking on the map, or on a country name via the list view. You can also type a country name directly into the title text field. To switch between active countries click, ‘Country A’ or ‘Country B’.
  • You can un-check the ‘Match Y-axis’ checkbox. This may be useful for comparing percentage variations in nations with small emissions to those with large emissions.
  • An interesting feature of the charts is the ability to view how a countries Paris pledge compares to its historical emissions. Click the 'Show percentage difference' checkbox to display this data.

Expert research including data collection, review and analysis, review of methodology, oversight and finalisation of results and scientific advice on presentation of data provided by The Climate Institute.

SBS would like to acknowledge the work and help of the Climate Insitute.


Thanks to SBS Radio and journalists; Marcia de los Santos (USA), Marc Van Dinther (Netherlands, South Africa), Michelle Aleksandrovics (Australia), Mo Lin (China), Saleem Al-Fahad (Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq), Olga Klepova (Russia), Shingo Usami (Japan), Maria Schaller (Germany), Justin Park (Korea), Dario Castaldo (Italy), Jean Ducasse (France), Araya Suwankham (Thailand), Olivia Nguyen (Vietnam), Zain Nabi (Pakistan), Nilgun Kilic (Turkey), Oksana Bobechko (Ukraine), Beatriz Wagner (Brazil), Tepola Raicebe (Fiji), Rocio Otoya (Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela), Chandra Devudu (India), Ricky Onggokusumo (Indonesia), Dariusz Buchowiecki (Poland), Ibrahim Ali (Ethiopia).

Sources & Methodology

The comparison of emissions reductions targets across a broad range of countries is difficult as different countries use varied (and sometimes not transparent) data, methods and approaches in reporting and publicising national emissions goals. This is particularly the case for countries that have not announced an absolute emissions reductions target against a certain baseline year. For example, certain per cent reduction below 1990 levels.

Many emerging and developing economies express their targets as changes on the emissions intensity of their economy or as a reduction below business as usual levels. Calculating the impact of absolute emissions from these targets requires a broad range of assumptions on factors, including countries underlining economic growth or what would happen to emissions if current policy settings remain the same. For targets that are not expressed as an absolute reduction in emissions against a base year, results should be seen as uncertain and indicative.

The Climate Institute’s approach attempted to use common and internally consistent data sets across countries. To do this the Institute:

  • Used independent expert assessments of the impact of a country's’ target on emissions, historical emissions and business as usual emissions. The primary data source for national emissions is the assessment by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Secondary sources include Climate Action Tracker and the World Resources Institute. If no independent assessment of the target exists then the national government's’ own emissions estimates and assumptions are used. Linear lines are assumed between countries 2010, 2020 and subsequent targets. This will mask the commitments some countries have indicated they will peak their emissions by a certain date. For example, China’s emissions may peak later than indicated. They have said they will peak emissions by 2030 but as they have not specified the level or exact time of their emissions peak the linear approach between targets is used for simplicity. If a country does not have a 2010 target the linear change in emissions to their 2020 target is assumed to start from their actual 2010 emissions.
  • The exception to this approach is Australia. Here The Climate Institute used Australian government data sources.
  • Emissions and carbon sinks from the land sector are included in some countries targets and others do not. If land sector emissions and sinks are excluded from the target they are also excluded from the information presented here and visa a versa.
  • To calculate the impact on per capita emissions, national emissions were divided by mid-range population projections published by the UN.
  • To calculate the impact on the emissions intensity of the economy, national emissions were divided by economic growth projections published by the IMF. After 2020, it is assumed that economic growth will continue at the average rate of growth from the period between 2010 and 2020.

Data sources:

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (2015), PBL Climate Pledge INDC tool, PBL, Government of the Netherlands.
Climate Action Tracker (2015), Assessment of mitigation contributions to the Paris Agreement, Climate Analytics, Ecofys, NewClimate Institute, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
World Resources Institute (2015) CAIT Climate Data Explorer, World Resources Institute.
Department of Environment (2015), Emissions projections 2014-15, Government of Australia.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2015), World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, United Nations.
IMF (2015), World Economic Outlook, IMF.