The past decade of political failure on climate change has cost us all dear. It has shrunk the time left for action by two-thirds. In 2010, the world thought it had 30 years to halve global emissions of greenhouse gases. Today, we know that this must happen in ten years to minimize the effects of climate change. Incremental shifts that might once have been sufficient are no longer enough.
The further bad news is that, even taken together, the proposed climate action by all countries is a long way from meeting this requirement. Rather than halving emissions by 2030, countries’ climate proposals will lead to a slight increase. Worse still, individual countries are not on track to achieve commitments that were insufficient from the outset and are now woefully inadequate.