International climate pledges may be on the right track—maybe

Enlarge / Protesters call for action on climate change in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. (credit: Barcroft Media / Getty Images)

After Joe Biden won the US presidential election, he pledged that the country would cut emissions by 50 percent by 2030. And the US is hardly alone in this ambition. According to new research by Climate Analytics—part of the Climate Action Tracker consortium—131 countries are either discussing, have announced, or are implementing net-zero targets. The paper notes that, if fully implemented, these would cut 72 percent of global emissions.

The extent to which national climate goals can help realize the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5º C is an open question. But according to Matthew Gidden, one of the recent paper’s authors, these climate goals are having (and could indeed continue to have) a marked impact on the climate of the future.

“The clear message from my point of view is that the window has not closed,” he told Ars. “However, it needs significant and real action, especially by the developed countries of the world and the largest emitters in the world, to really make movement.”

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