In an effort to reverse the adverse effects of climate change, we must reduce carbon emissions and boost dependence on renewable energy. Even more, we need to plan for the already-emerging negative outcomes of changing environments. Conquering the fight against climate change is not a task that a few countries can achieve individually. It will take global action and collaboration.
Deemed the most climate-friendly country on the globe, Denmark is on the path to be entirely free from fossil fuels by 2050. With the most efficient strategies for decreasing carbon emissions and using renewable power, it is also a top pick for international students when it comes to environmental education. The state has also developed an excellent plan for coping with the impacts of extreme weather.
Like the other Scandinavian countries, Norway takes climate change seriously. It has pledged to reduce its emissions by 40% by 2030 and strives to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2050. But Norway’s most significant claim to fame is its vigorous attempt to clean its transport sector.
As of 2017, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids valued for half of the new vehicles retailed in the nation. And in March of this year, electric vehicles alone made up almost 60% of brand-new car purchases. By 2025, the administration wants that figure to be 100%. The government grants generous incentives for electric vehicles, such as suspending some of its high taxes and accommodating purchasers with loads of perks, like electric-only parking lots in cities. Norway has also spent in-vehicle charging maintenance and satisfies most of its energy with clean hydropower.
China’s new investments in renewable energy are remarkable. Home to the world’s biggest solar farm, it is the world’s largest investor in domestic solar energy and is also increasing its investments in renewable energy abroad. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it has introduced more than 34 gigawatts of solar potential in 2016, more than twice the number for the U.S. and nearly half of the total added capacity globally that year.
China has also spent heavily in low-carbon transportation. By sheer amounts, it is the largest electric car market in the world, and it holds 99% of the world’s electric buses. There, the motive is partly to clean up urban air quality and encourage domestic innovation.
Home to the international Paris Agreement and the worldwide struggle against climate change, France has long been a global pilot in climate change policy. The nation endeavours to reduce its emissions by 75% in 2050. Thanks to the creation of nuclear energy, serving 80% of nationwide power production, France has already decreased its greenhouse gas emissions.
President Emmanuel Macron lately stated that the French government is encouraging climate change researchers to live and work in France, with all their costs paid. The government will be awarding four-year grants to researchers, graduate students and professors who are working vigorously on tackling climate change.
Sweden has enacted a law that requires the government to cut all greenhouse emissions by 2045. The climate minister has asked for the rest of the world to “step up and achieve the Paris Agreement.”
With its power coming from renewable sources and a successful recycling program, the country leads many enterprises on climate change. The OECD Environmental Performance Review in 2014 stated that it is an innovative nation when it comes to environment-related technology.
6. Costa Rica
Costa Rica may be small, but what it lacks in area, it makes up for in drive. The country has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. And in February, it published a detailed blueprint for how to do it. If it cuts to that plan, it will ease the world limit warming to 2 degrees, and it will be almost sufficient to reach the 1.5-degree target.
The country has already stopped some of its most vital emissions sectors. It gets 80% of its power from hydroelectricity and most of the rest from other renewables. It has also succeeded in reversing the trend of deforestation that tormented the land in the 1960s and ’70s. Since that time, Costa Rica has multiplied its forest area.
Most of its emissions come from transportation. The government hopes to grow the percentage of electric cars. But it would eventually like to make public transportation primary option, particularly for city residents. By 2035, it wants a bus fleet formed by 70% electric vehicles and an electric train system to carry people between centres.
This is easier said than done since the state generates a notable fraction of its income from gas taxes. But Costa Rica is taking the predicament seriously; revising its tax system is a pillar of its decarbonization plan. Costa Rica also intends to promote sustainable building and execute a national compost strategy.
India stands second in world population and third in greenhouse gas emissions. It is one of the world’s developing economies, having some of the largest energy requirements. India’s current administration understands this and has started several federal-level renewable energy-related policies.
Consequently, the nation is on the way to becoming the third-largest solar market in the world. As solar power has become more affordable than coal in India, the country is leading notable energy and economic change. It will be the host of the International Solar Alliance, to present some of the most impoverished nations around the world with solar energy support. These factors have joined to make India’s solar power the most inexpensive in the world.
However, most of its power still comes from coal-fired plants. But commentators say it is a guide for incentivising the accelerated expanse of renewables.
According to the Climate Action Tracker, India lies on the compatible range of meeting its goals in accordance with the Paris Agreement, despite its population and increasing demands for energy. However, there is a lot of scope for India to improve and meet its objectives.
The report, ‘Truth Behind the Climate Pledges’, issued by the Universal Ecological Fund, the United States of America-based nonprofit research group working on issues related to climate change, provided an analysis of climate pledges. The specialists consisting of climate scientists placed the countries based on their commitments to decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases and recognised flaws in the voluntary pledges.
The team examined the 184 voluntary pledges by nations under the Paris Agreement. It is estimated that some of the world’s biggest emitters like the U.S., China and India would proceed to raise emissions. Other than pledges, the paper authors used data from other official records offered by governments and news by international agencies, for the examination.
India is the fourth highest GHGs and CO2 emitter in the world, accounting for about 7% each. India’s CO2 emissions per person have multiplied since 1990, but its historical emissions were low, and current emissions are lower than most industrialised nations. Currently, a person in India produces less than 2 tons of CO2 per annum, which is less than what a person in Sweden emits. Its climate pledge includes three targets:
1. India’s GHG emissions have risen by about 76% between 2005 and 2017 and are assumed to continue to grow due to economic maturity. Its CO2 emissions have more than doubled over the years 2005 to 2018. India’s pledge to decrease its emissions intensity is indeed encouraging, but it will not succeed in a reduction in GHG emissions under current levels.
2. India has increased its installed electricity generation potential by three-fold since 2005, with 57% of its production still reliant on coal. The non-fossil fuels electric power capacity has developed as well from 30% in 2005 to 35% in 2018, of which 20% are renewables. Thus, by maintaining this increasing trend, India could manage a 40% non-fossil-based power capacity quicker than 2030. However, renewables are becoming cheaper than coal-fired power plants in India; the development of non-fossil fuels electric power may not recompense for the lack of action to reduce the share of electricity generated by coal.
3. Indian forest cover sums about 24% of its geographical range. Since 2015, the yearly increase of the carbon stock has been 71.5 metric tons of all GHGs combined. The aim of creating an added total carbon sink of 2.5–3 GtCO2-eq depicts a median annual carbon sink of 167–200 MtCO2e over the years from 2016 to 2030. Thus, to reach the objective, India would have to double its current pace of forest cover expansion.