Paris : Most nations get low marks on 'net-zero' climate plans. But countries have vowed to eliminate their carbon footprint.

Nearly all of 35 countries accounting for more than four-fifths of global greenhouse gas emissions got low marks for their net zero plans in a peer-reviewed assessment published last Thursday.

Of the four biggest carbon polluters, only the European Union's plan was deemed credible, while those of China, the United States and India were found lacking.

Most nations have set targets to eliminate their carbon footprint around mid-century, with commitments from China and India for 2060 and 2070 respectively.

The extent to which Earth remains hospitable in a warming world depends in large measure on whether these pledges are kept, but assessing their credibility has proven difficult.

Many net-zero goals lack details, and some do not even specify if they cover just CO2 or other important planet-warming gases as well, such as methane and nitrous oxide.

These uncertainties, in turn, have confounded attempts to project global temperature increases,  and whether the Paris climate treaty goals of caping global warming at '' well below '' two degrees Celsius, and at 1.5C if possible, remains within reach.

If both short-term and long-term plans from all countries are accepted at face value, global warming could stablise in that critical range between 1.5C and 2C.

But if only policies already in place are taken into account and more-or-less vague promises are set aside, temperatures are more likely to settle between 2.5C and 3C.

'' The two outcomes could not contrast more,'' Joeri Rogelj, director of research at Imperial College's Grantham Institute, and a team of international scientists wrote in the Journal Science. [AFP]


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