G20 economies slow pace of decarbonisation, PwC study shows

A delegate walks past a climate change poster at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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  • The rate of change is slowing in the United States, India and Japan
  • The decarbonization rate must now reach 15.2% per year
  • Pandemic and rising energy costs are hampering progress

September 21 (Reuters) – Decarbonization rates in the Group of Twenty (G20) economies plummeted last year to their lowest level in two decades, consultancy PwC said, falling short of what is needed to meet the global climate target .

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PwC said the pace of change must increase to get back on track with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“No G20 country is decarbonizing fast enough to maintain a safe climate,” showed the PwC Net Zero Economy Index.

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Global decarbonization fell to 0.5%, well below the 12.9% needed to keep temperature rise in line with the target, while it landed at just 0.2% in the G20.

Dan Dowling, partner at PwC UK, said in a statement that the world is “alarmingly” falling short of the rate needed to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2030 deadline to reduce emissions by 43%.

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The next round of global climate negotiations will take place in November.

The average global decarbonization rate must now reach 15.2% year-on-year, according to PwC analysis, 11 times faster than since 2000.

Nine of the G20 economies, which collectively account for around 80% of the world’s energy-related emissions, increased their carbon intensity in 2021, according to PwC, based on energy use relative to their GDP and carbon content.

South Africa was the strongest performer, down 4.6%, followed by Australia at 3.3% and China at 2.8%.

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“Nations need to radically change both their energy mix and their energy use,” Dowling said. “If we fail, the costs of adapting to climate change will continue to rise.”

“Put simply, we don’t have enough time for poor decarbonization performance to become the norm, regardless of unanticipated events and regardless of their magnitude,” he added.

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Reporting by Juliette Portala, editing by Simon Jessop and Jane Merriman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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