It’s time for countries, industries and corporations to put their money where their decarbonisation goals are

As nations gather in December in Lima, Peru, for the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC), 17 developed countries are being assessed on their progress in meeting economy-wide emissions-reduction benchmarks by 2020.

Countries being multilaterally assessed received one or more questions regarding their quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets. Submitted by 1 October, the questions related to at least one topic – providing an outline of all emissions and removals related to the country’s quantified economy-wide emission reduction target; a description of assumptions, conditions and methodologies related to meeting the emission reduction target and an explanation of the progress it made toward meeting its goal.

Perhaps in preparation for the meeting, some countries and corporations have been making major decisions about emissions reductions over the past month. Following a November visit by US President Barack Obama to China, the US announced it is planning for its 2025 carbon emissions to be at least 26% lower than they were in 2005. China said it would increase its use of renewables and said for the first time that it plans to begin reducing total emissions by 2030.

According to the WWF, the largest 500 global companies generate more than 2.5 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas...

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