Paris 2015: Tracking country climate pledges

  • 30 Sep 2015, 13:45
  • Carbon Brief Staff

Updated 6 October.

Carbon Brief is maintaining a separate tracker of requests for   climate finance.

Countries around the world have been submitting their pledges to the UN, setting out how far they intend to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

These promises, known as "intended nationally determined contributions", or INDCs, will determine the success of the deal that the UN hopes to sign off in Paris in December this year.

Carbon Brief is summarising the pledges made by each country. We'll update this post as each INDC comes in.

We've also published separate, in-depth articles on the pledges made by  the EU the US Russia Canada China, Japan Brazil Indonesia and  India

To find out exactly what an INDC is and why it matters, read our   INDC explainer.

An informal deadline of 1 October marked the cut-off to be included in an INDC summary from the UN. Some 148 parties made the cut. Another 48 countries responsible for 10% of the world's emissions have yet to submit their INDC.

Click to enlarge:


Who has pledged an INDC so far, and what percentage of the world's emissions are covered. Credit: Rosamund Pearce, Carbon Brief, based on EU data

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Daily Briefing | Bank of England's Carney warns of climate change risk

  • 30 Sep 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Mark Carney at the World Economic Forum in 2013

Mark Carney | Wikimedia

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Analysis: Brazil's climate pledge represents slight increase on current emissions 
Brazil's UN climate pledge offers the first absolute economy-wide target from a major developing country, although its commitment on illegal deforestation has been seen as under-ambitious. Carbon Brief looks at the details.  Carbon Brief 

Paris 2015 Tracking country climate pledges 
With the 1 October deadline looming, UN climate pledges are flooding in. Carbon Brief is tracking the targets and the  finance. Additions include Myanmar, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan - with more to come throughout the day.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Bank of England's Carney warns of climate change risk 
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned that climate change threatens global financial stability during a speech to insurers Lloyds of London. There is little incentive for current generations to fix it, and by the time it becomes a "defining issue" it may be too late, he warned. The  Guardian reports that proposals will probably be put before the G20 meeting in Turkey in November, urging countries to deliver tougher corporate disclosure standards, according to Carney. The  Financial Times interpreted Carney's comments as the governor throwing a gauntlet to the fossil fuel industry, as he warned of stranded assets once reserves become "unburnable". The  BBC also has an exclusive interview with Carney. The  Telegraph also covers the story.  BBC 

BHP insists global climate deal will not harm future mining profits 
BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, is confident that its profits will remain strong regardless of a global UN deal to curb climate change. The group, which mines coal as well as copper and iron ore, is confident that its profits will double by 2030. Its new report looking at the risks suggests that carbon capture and storage will enable them to continue to burn coal, although the technology is still in its infancy. The  Financial Times highlights its finding that the company could lose 5% off the value of its mineral assets if the price of CO2 is raised to $80 per tonne.  Reuters also covers the story.  The Guardian 

New York city mayor pushes pension funds to dump coal stocks 
New York mayor Bill de Blasio has called on the city's five pension funds, worth $160bn, to stop investing in coal and reconsider their investments in other fossil fuels. His call follows a similar move from California, where lawmakers passed a bill requiring state pension funds to sell their investments in coal companies earlier this month, and a wider movement towards divestment around the world. The pension funds have around $33m in thermal coal investments. The  Guardian also covers the story. Reuters 

Volkswagen to refit cars affected by emissions scandal 
The Volkswagen emissions scandal rumbles on, with the company saying that it will repair up to 11 million vehicles. Fred Pearce writes in the  New Scientist that green claims from corporates need extra scrutiny following the revelations.  Scientific American writes that, although the extra pollution caused by the scandal is impossible to quantify at the moment, it might exacerbate regional health concerns. The  New York Times looks at the difficulties involved in kicking the diesel habit.  Reuters 

Jeremy Corbyn drops plans to nationalise energy groups 
Labour has dropped its plan to nationalise the Big Six energy companies, according to shadow climate and energy secretary Lisa Nandy. According to her speech at the Labour Conference yesterday, Labour instead plans to "democratise" energy, proposing that every community should be encouraged to generate their own clean power through local cooperatives. The Financial Times says it is an example of Corbyn's radical ideas "disintegrating". Nandy also accused the present government of "turning its back on our wind and solar industries", the  BBC reports.  The Financial Times

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Analysis: Brazil's climate pledge represents slight increase on current emissions

  • 29 Sep 2015, 15:15
  • Sophie Yeo
Amazon river, Brazil

Amazon river, Brazil | Shutterstock

Brazil has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 37% below 2005 levels by 2025.

The  pledge, which constitutes its formal submission to the UN's forthcoming climate deal, also includes an "indicative contribution" of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030.

Announcing the target at the UN General Assembly in New York on the weekend, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said that the country's goals were "just as ambitious, if not more so, than those set by developed countries".

This makes Brazil the first major developing economy to set an absolute economy-wide emissions target. The pledge was warmly received by campaigners and the media, with Reuters  reporting that Brazil had pledged to "slash emissions".

Nonetheless, the pledge itself represents a slight increase on Brazil's current emissions, illustrating the shifting balance between land use and the energy sector as the primary source of the country's emissions.

Rising emissions

Brazil is the world's twelfth largest emitter of CO2. Its emissions shrunk by 41% between 2005 and 2012, thanks to its success in reducing emissions from deforestation.

Ghg Estimates Brazil Indc

Source: Annual estimates of greenhouse gases emissions in Brazil, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil

According to forest monitoring data collected by the federal government in Brazil, deforestation fell by an average of 16% per year between 2005 and 2014 (green bars, above). This has been mostly thanks to policies designed to reduce deforestation.

At the same time, emissions from the energy and agriculture sectors have continued to rise, taking up a considerably larger share of Brazil's overall emissions.

Brazil's emissions, which peaked in 2004, will, therefore, peak again before they start to decline. This is partly because the country's efforts to reduce emissions are taking place in a context of rising population, GDP and income per capita.

Each of these puts an upward pressure on emissions, as there are more people with the means to use more energy.

But it also takes place in the context of an increasing deforestation rate, after years of decline. The rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 28% between August 2012 and July 2013. Environmentalists have blamed the reversal on the  reform of the forest protection law in 2012.

As a result, Brazil's pledge to reduce emissions by 37% by 2025 leaves room for the country to increase its emissions over the next decade. The INDC points out that, in 2012, emissions were 41% below 2005 levels.

In absolute terms, this means that emissions in Brazil will reach 1.3bn tonnes of  CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2025, compared to 1.2GtCO2e in 2012.

Brazil's indicative target of a 43% reduction below 2005 levels in 2030 will mean its emissions are once again brought down to 1.2GtCO2e. This implies its emissions will peak for a second time some time between 2025 and 2030.

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Daily Briefing | Exuberance and disappointment at Shell’s about-face in the Arctic

  • 29 Sep 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Oil platform in the Arctic Ocean

Arctic oil platform | Shutterstock

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Climate change is raising the risk of coastal floods in New York City, study finds 
Rising sea levels and changing tropical cyclones are pushing New York City coastal floods to new heights, a new study has found. Floods hitting the city are now more than a metre higher than before humans had an influence on the climate, the research shows, increasing the risk of coastal defences being overwhelmed.  Carbon Brief 

UPDATED - Analysis: How much does the UK spend abroad on 'climate finance'? 
At the UN General Assembly in New York this weekend, the UK committed to spending a further £5.8bn between April 2016 and March 2021. This is a significant increase on the UK's previous spending, though it will be drawn from the existing aid budget, which will continue to represent 0.7% of GDP.  Carbon Brief 

Paris 2015 - the latest country climate pledges 
Brazil, Indonesia, Kiribati, Senegal and South Africa are among the latest countries to submit an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, as the deadline draws near. Carbon Brief has updated its pledge tracker, as well as its  tracker of climate finance requests.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Exuberance and Disappointment at Shell's About-Face in the Arctic 
The news that Shell will suspend drilling in the Chukchi Sea has been welcomed by environmentalists. "The people of Seattle stood up to oppose the use of our city as a base for expanded Arctic drilling," said the mayor of Seattle in a statement. "With today's announcement, it is time to move forward." Publicly Shell has blamed high operating costs, disappointing exploratory results and strict regulations, but company sources also accept that Arctic oil polarised debate in a way that damaged the firm, says the  The Guardian. Questions of psychology and morale are now crucial: if Shell is bailing out other companies might get cold feet as well, writes the New York Times, speaking to economists in Alaska. Shell's original position on the Arctic was important, writes Kamal Ahmed for the  BBC, and given that it will cost Shell £2.6bn to execute the withdrawal, Monday's announcement comes as a surprise. According to the  Financial Times the pullout will fuel the 'stranded assets' debate - the argument made by some campaigners that those who invest in new exploration could end up being unable to use what they find, as governments crack down on fossil fuel pollution. The decision comes just 10 weeks before nearly 200 countries are due to strike a global climate change accord in Paris.  The Telegraph,  Grist and  Reuters also carried the story. New York Times 

Pope Francis scorecard: liberals take away biggest wins from pontiff's US visit 
En route to Washington DC, Francis sought to play down the notion that he was a leftwing pope. During his historic six-day trip, however, the pope's words - accompanied by powerful symbolic gestures - are likely to have boosted liberal Catholics and disappointed conservatives. Religion correspondent Harriet Sherwood recaps pope's stance on climate change and other key themes.  The Guardian 

End fossil fuel subsidies, says Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change 
An influential climate change group led by Prince Charles, whose members include Coca-Cola Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson and Kingfisher, has called on governments to end fossil fuel subsidies, ahead of the UN climate summit taking place in Paris in December. he world's richest countries and fastest-emerging economies subsidised fossil fuels by between $160bn and $200bn in the four years through to 2014, the OECD reported earlier this month.  BusinessGreen 

The green car myth? 
It's not just diesel. A new investigation showing higher-than-expected carbon dioxide emissions from petrol-powered as well as diesel-powered cars is raising pressure on EU governments to examine whether a broader range of vehicles was also equipped with the cheating software that Volkswagen admitted to installing in its diesel vehicles, says Politico. It now appears that the real-world carbon dioxide emissions performance of new cars, including those that use petrol, is significantly poorer than in highly artificial laboratory settings. The widening probe has the potential to cause serious trouble for the bloc's emissions reduction targets.  Politico 

UK's £6bn climate finance pledge is welcome - but not its fair share 
The UK's £5.8bn ($8.8bn) pledge to help poor nations cope with climate change falls short of the country's fair share of the burden, campaigners have said. Analysis suggests France and Germany will be giving about twice as much in 2020 - and other aid budgets may lose out so the UK can pay its climate debt. France has said it will boost its climate finance donations to  €5 billion per year from 2020. The rich world has promised to contribute $100bn each year by 2020 to help developing countries cope with climate change. "The UK is playing its part", said the energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd. The  Financial Times also has the story.  The Guardian 

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Climate change is raising the risk of coastal floods in New York City, study finds

  • 28 Sep 2015, 20:00
  • Robert McSweeney
Damaged houses without power at night in the Rockaway beach - Bel Harbor due to impact from Hurricane Sandy in Queens, New York

Storm damage, Queens | Shutterstock

Rising sea levels and changing tropical cyclones are pushing New York City coastal floods to new heights, says a study published today.

Floods hitting the city are now more than a metre higher than before humans had an influence on the climate, the research shows, increasing the risk of coastal defences being overwhelmed.

Coastal flooding

In 2012,  Hurricane Sandy tore through the Caribbean and parts of America's east coast.

In the US, this tropical cyclone - dubbed "Superstorm Sandy" - and the flooding it caused destroyed  at least 650,000 houses and racked up $50bn of damage. For New York City specifically,  43 people died - despite many areas being evacuated - and flood water eveninundated the subway system.

The devastation triggered a new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, to assess how the threat of coastal flooding in New York has been affected by climate change. Lead author, Andra Reed, from Penn State University in the US, explains to Carbon Brief:

"Sandy highlighted the vulnerability of New York to flooding from storm surges and sea level rise, and motivated us to study the region to see how climate change may already be impacting both sea level and tropical cyclone characteristics."

900 South Ferry Subway Station

South Ferry subway station in New York boarded with plywood and sandbags in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. Credit:  Shutterstock

Storm surge

Much of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy was a result of the 3-4m storm surge it caused, the study says.

When a storm weather system is over the sea, its low pressure centre pulls up the surface of the water. Then, as the storm blows onto the land, the wind pushes the sea towards the coast, creating even higher sea levels and hitting the coastline with large waves. This is a   storm surge.

The height that a storm surge can reach is dependent on the underlying sea level, the tide, and scale of the tropical cyclone. So as sea levels rise, a storm surge has more chance of breaching coastal flood defences. Likewise, if tropical cyclones become more frequent, more intense or longer-lasting, storms surges could also reach new heights.

To see if either had changed, Reed and her colleagues compared coastal flooding in New York City during two time periods: a "pre-anthropogenic era" when the human influence on climate was "minimal" (the years 850 to 1800) and an "anthropogenic era" when it was "dominant" (years 1970 to 2005).

As records of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic only stretch back to 1851, the researchers first had to reconstruct a data record of cyclones. They used data from state-of-the-art climate models for sea surface temperature, humidity, and wind speed - all important factors in how cyclones develop - to create a dataset of tropical cyclones from 850 to 2005. They could then work out the size of storm surges the cyclones would produce, and combine the information with sea level data to give flood heights across the whole 1,200-year period.

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UPDATED - Analysis: How much does the UK spend abroad on 'climate finance'?

  • 28 Sep 2015, 17:15
  • Sophie Yeo

Flickr | DFID

Update 28 September 2015 -  The UK has now extended the lifespan of the International Climate Fund. The government had previously budgeted to spend £3.87bn up to 2016. At the UN General Assembly in New York this weekend, the UK committed to spending a further £5.8bn between April 2016 and March 2021. At least £1.76bn of this will be spent in 2020. This sum is a significant increase on the UK's previous spending, though it will be drawn from the existing aid budget, which will continue to represent 0.7% of GDP. The government has yet to announce how the spending will be split between DECC, DEFRA and DFID.

In the world of climate finance, 2020 is an important year. By this point, as was agreed at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, developed countries are expected to "jointly mobilise" $100bn per annum for developing nations.

The agreement didn't identify exactly how this money should be raised. The final accord said: "This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance." As is the case with other developed countries, pressure is growing on the UK to play its part.

Between now and 2020, there are no formal requirements on the UK to donate. But without proof that rich countries will contribute and have a credible plan to scale up funds between now and the end of the decade, many commentators say it will be difficult to strike a meaningful deal at the UN's climate conference in Paris this December.

The UK, which contributes 0.7% of its gross national income to overseas aid, is one of the most generous donors.

But how much of this goes towards climate finance, and how is it distributed? Carbon Brief looks at the available data.

Climate -finance -tree

Source: Rosamund Pearce for Carbon Brief. This graphic does not represent the increase in UK spending announced 27 September 2015.

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Paris 2015: Tracking requests for climate finance

  • 28 Sep 2015, 17:10
  • Sophie Yeo
Solar panels, Algeria

Solar panels, Algeria | Flickr

Updated 6 October.

Ahead of the UN's climate conference in Paris this December, countries are making pledges to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions.

Known in UN jargon as   "intended nationally determined contributions" (INDCs), these pledges  involve actions such as transforming their energy systems, reducing deforestation and making transport cleaner. In some cases, countries have also outlined actions that will make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

These activities cost money. While every country is expected to address its emissions as part of the UN's forthcoming climate agreement, there is an expectation that the efforts of poorer nations will be supplemented by international aid.

Therefore, many nations have included a financial element to their INDC. Some of the most detailed outline the cost of implementing their plan, the amount they will put up from domestic budgets, and how much they hope to receive from international donors.

Carbon Brief is   tracking the financial elements to the INDCs, including requests for money, domestic funding and any overall price tags that countries have attached to their plans.

Paris -finance -tracker

Carbon Brief's climate finance request tracker. Visit our Google doc for the full, interactive version - click to expand.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 At 15.39.05

Developing country plans for funding INDCs up to 2030. Data from INDCs and compiled by Carbon Brief. Last updated on 6 October 2015. Chart by Carbon Brief

International finance

The world of international   climate finance is broadly split into two camps. There are the developed nations, which have pledged to   donate money, and the developing nations, which will receive it.

In some cases, the line blurs. Mexico and Mongolia, for instance, have unusually both pledged donations, despite being classed as developing countries. And not every developing nation will necessarily receive funding.

In 2009, it was agreed that countries would provide climate finance amounting to $100bn a year by 2020, from a combination of both public and private money. Much of this is expected to be channelled through the Green Climate Fund, a UN-backed bank for climate-related projects.


Yet there has always been resistance to formally including finance in the INDCs - partly because there is the possibility that the commitments they contain will become legally binding as part of the UN's new climate deal.

Most INDCs cover the period up to 2030. Many developed nations are nervous about committing to specific financial donations beyond their budgeted periods, and sometimes have their hands tied by national parliamentary processes.

On the other hand, developing countries have argued that making any long term plans to reduce emissions is difficult until future funding is clarified.

When the information requirements for INDCs were set out at the UN's 2014 conference in Lima, finance was, therefore, excluded. However, many poorer countries have chosen to include this information voluntarily.

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Daily Briefing | Cameron pledges £6bn to fight global climate change

  • 28 Sep 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
David Cameron

David Cameron | Shutterstock

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Indonesian pledge suggests no increase in emissions to 2030 
Indonesia would not increase its emissions over the next 15 years if it receives international financial support, according to Carbon Brief analysis of its climate pledge to the UN. It promises to cut emissions by 29 or 41% in 2030, against business as usual levels, with the top ambition conditional on external finance. Wide uncertainty remains over Indonesian emissions and the details of policies to reduce them. Carbon Brief 

Paris 2015: Flurry of country climate pledges 
There has been a late rush of intended nationally-determined contributions (INDCs), as a 1 October deadline for climate pledges to be considered in a UN review approaches. Carbon Brief is updating its tracker as the INDCs are submitted, as well as its tracker of climate finance requests.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Cameron pledges £6bn to fight global climate change 
Funding for the UK's international climate fund is to increase by around 50%, David Cameron has announced in New York. The move could anger Tory backbenchers, says the Telegraph. The £5.8bn pledge is for five years from 2016 to 2021, says the Guardian, with spending backloaded towards 2020.Carbon Pulse  , the Mirror, the Sun the Mail and others all have the story. Meanwhile China has unveiled a $3.1bn climate finance pledge, reports Business Green, while the Asian Development Bank is to double its annual climate spending to $6bn by 2020 says the Financial Times. US climate finance is "in limbo", says Reuters, because of a looming budget battle with Republicans.  The Telegraph 

Shell abandons contentious Arctic exploration after poor results 
Shell has abandoned its contentious Arctic drilling campaign off Alaska and is preparing to write off billions of dollars, after its exploration failed to find significant oil. Drilling did discover oil and gas, but not in sufficient quantities, says the Associated Press. The Arctic campaign has ended in failure, says theTelegraphReuters also has the story. Meanwhile the Financial Times reports on Italian firm Eni's Arctic drilling platform Goliat, a €5.6bn scheme that is the world's most northerly Arctic oil exploration project.  Financial Times 

U.N. Adopts Ambitious Global Goals After Years of Negotiations 
The UN has adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide nations' progress to 2030 at a meeting in New York. The goals include one on climate change, but as Carbon Brief explained last week, climate runs through many other goals. The BBC has a video report. Many outlets focus on Pope Francis's speech to the UN, where he said climate was key to sustainable development, reportsInsideClimate NewsDot Earth explores the root of the Pope's appeal among secular sustainability advocates. Politico's Michael Grunwald argues the Pope's "problematic" views are "wrong about climate". The Guardian has an annotated version of the Pope's speech to the UN. Business Green and the Guardian also cover the Pope's speech.  New York Times 

Motorists 'tricked' in car test abuses, claims report 
Car firms are claiming their cars are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon dioxide than in reality, according to a report from NGO Transport and Environment covered by the BBC. It suggests the car emissions testing scandal goes well beyond VW's NOx "defeat device", with an average 40% gap between lab and real-world petrol and CO2 figures. Nearly two-thirds of supposed gains on CO2 emissions have been "purely theoretical", it says.  BBC News 

Business rounds on UK government for green energy U-turns 
UK government green policy reversals are described as "pure idiocy" by an renewable energy investor quoted in the Financial Times. It also quotes criticisms from unions and the Confederation of British Industry. The article reports on last week's news that Drax, the UK's largest power station, is pulling out of the White Rose carbon capture and storage scheme. The Guardian and Reuters also have the story.   Financial Times 

China-U.S. deal sets bar low ahead of Paris climate talks 
The US and China have outlined a "common vision" of the Paris climate deal, reports Reuters. It quotes experts saying the move is significant but "hasn't changed the world". The BBC says China is coming in from the cold on climate. Various outlets cover China's plans for national cap and trade scheme, including InsideClimate NewsNatureClimateWire and Reuters.The deal with China "turns the table" on Obama's foes in Congress, says another Reuters article.   Reuters 

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Indonesian pledge suggests no increase in emissions to 2030

  • 25 Sep 2015, 13:30
  • Simon Evans
Air pollution, some from forest fires, over Southeast Asia in October 1997

Indonesia, 1997 | Wikipedia

Indonesia would not increase its emissions over the next 15 years if it receives international support, according to Carbon Brief analysis of its climate pledge to the UN.

Its  intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) pledges a 29-41% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to business as usual. The upper end of this range, conditional on "support from international cooperation", would see emissions in 2030 remain at recently reported levels.

Indonesia's pledge is significant. It is ranked in the top 10 and possibly even the top five emitting nations. However, there is wide uncertainty over its emissions, which are dominated by variable deforestation and fires. Carbon Brief has run the numbers on the pledge to gauge what it means.

No finance request

Indonesia's INDC says it aims to decarbonise its economy "in a phased approach". This pathway will be incorporated in its national development plan for 2019-2024, it says. The INDC extends an existing pledge to cut emissions by 26% against business-as-usual (BAU) emissions in 2020.

The INDC says the 2030 emissions targets will be met through:

"Improved land use and spatial planning, energy conservation and the promotion of clean and renewable energy sources, and improved waste management".

It adds that inefficient energy use has been encouraged by fossil fuel subsidies, which President Widodo has  started to reduce. However, the INDC lacks specifics on the policy priorities it sets out.

Unlike a  draft, the final INDC also omits a request for $6bn of  international climate finance to fund its 41% conditional pledge. This figure had been reported by the  Guardian.

Andhyta Utami, researcher with World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia, tells Carbon Brief it is not clear why the finance request had been omitted. However, the figure had caused confusion, Utami says, because it clearly excluded much higher investment needs towards a pledge to source 23% of Indonesia's energy from renewables by 2025.

A separate  government document costs the renewables target at $108bn, she adds. Utami says:

"Indonesia could be more transparent on how much international assistance it will need to reach its conditional target...It should publish its financing needs before Paris." 

Utami also expressed concern over the make-up of the 23% goal, which represents a significant and  ambitious leap compared to renewables' current 4% share of the country's energy mix. Bioenergy, including biofuels and biomass from crops such as palm oil, are slated to make up 10% of Indonesia's energy mix in 2025, potentially putting pressure on already-threatened forest lands.

The  WRI argues that solar, hydro and ocean energy should make up the majority of the renewables target instead. This would ease the pressure on land, which the government also expects to make Indonesia self-sufficient in food.

Alongside growing renewables, Indonesia has  major plans to expand its coal-fired electricity generation, with coal use in the country already having doubled in a decade. This expansion is rapidly increasing emissions and will squeeze the country's ability to stick to its climate pledge.

Coal expansion could "undermine" Indonesia's efforts on renewables, WRI says. Coal is not mentioned in Indonesia's INDC. 

Uncertain emissions

As well as being hazy on policy and financing needs, it is also difficult to gauge the ambition of Indonesia's INDC emissions targets. This is despite the document including a projected figure for BAU emissions in 2030 of 2.9bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e).

The pledge to reduce emissions by at least 29% compared to this trajectory means an effective cap in 2030 of 2GtCO2e. With the more ambitious 41% reduction compared to BAU, the cap would be 1.7GtCO2e. The  UK's emissions are 0.5GtCO2e and China's around 12.5GtCO2e.

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Daily Briefing | UK energy policy under fire as Drax quits carbon-capture project

  • 25 Sep 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Inside the cooling tower in power station

Inside a cooling tower | Shutterstock

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Paris 2015: Tracking requests for climate finance - updated 
Carbon Brief is tracking the financial elements to the INDCs, including requests for money, domestic funding and any overall price tags that countries have attached to their plans. It has been updated to include new submissions by countries including Eritrea and Indonesia.    Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

UK energy policy under fire as Drax quits carbon-capture project 
The frontpage of the Financial Times leads with the exclusive story that Drax - which operates the UK's largest coal-fired power plant - has decided to "abandon five years of planning for a carbon capture and storage system next to its huge North Yorkshire power station". It adds: "A £1bn UK climate-change plan has been thrown into turmoil after the Drax power company said it was pulling out because government green policy reversals made it too risky to proceed...[It] is the most visible sign yet of how green energy subsidy cutbacks are jolting investors." Peter Emery, the Drax board member chairing the group developing the White Rose carbon capture project, told the FT that several "critical reversals" in government support for renewable energy had made "a severe impact on our profitability". He added: "We've also got concerns about the government's future support for the low carbon agenda and that's left us in a position where we are no longer confident we can persuade our shareholders that this is an attractive investment, given the obvious risks. The government has to make difficult decisions based on affordability and, in turn, so are we." The FT described his remarks as a "thinly veiled dig" at Amber Rudd, the energy and climate secretary. The FT's  Lombard column remarks that "another leaf has dropped from the blighted tree of Conservative green credentials". It adds: "The stance of an energy department led by the appropriately-named Amber Rudd has switched from positive to neutral. The electorate is disinclined to give a damn...The no-show will save Drax capex. But the move shows management's faith in ministers' pledges is ebbing." The  Telegraph,  Daily Mail and  Carbon Pulse all follow-up the story.  Financial Times 

China to announce climate pledge as Xi visits Washington 
China's President Xi Jinping, who is visiting the US, is set to unveil a landmark pledge on climate change and curbing harmful emissions, White House Officials have said. A White House official told reporters that Mr Xi would announce on Friday plans to launch a national carbon emissions trading scheme in 2017. The "cap-and-trade" scheme would see Chinese companies charged to emit pollutants beyond a certain level. China would also make a "very substantial financial commitment" to developing nations to help them move to low-polluting technologies, the Associated Press quoted the official as saying. The  Guardian said the move "would make China the world's biggest carbon market, overtaking the European Union, and could strengthen global efforts to put a price on carbon". The  Hill said the announcement was "instantly controversial among Republican lawmakers who highly doubt China will live up to its commitments", whereas the  New York Times says: "Mr Xi's pledge underscores China's intention to act quickly and upends what has long been a potent argument among Republicans against acting on climate change: that the United States' most powerful economic competitor has not done so."Carbon Pulse notes that "China had originally intended to start the market in late 2016, but in recent months it has looked increasingly likely that the launch would be pushed to 2017 to give officials more time to prepare". It adds: "The delay means the seven pilot markets are likely to operate a year longer than originally intended."  Associated Press said "officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity so they wouldn't pre-empt China's official announcement, said it's hoped the announcement will give impetus to a broader global treaty on climate change at a Paris conference in December". The  Financial Times also carries the story.  BBC News 

Renewable electricity overtakes coal for first time in UK 
The UK generated more of its electricity from renewable sources than from burning coal for the first time in the second quarter of 2015, according to new figures released by DECC. A record high of 25.3% of the UK's power came from wind, solar, biomass and hydro-electric sources in the three months to June, up from just 16.7% in the same period the year before. By contrast the share of electricity from the UK's ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations fell to 20.5%, down from 28.2% a year previously. The  Guardianand  BusinessGreen also carry the story.  Daily Telegraph 

AP Interview: India says reducing poverty is climate justice 
In an interview with AP, Prakash Javadekar, India's environment minister, says that India will confirm plans its next week for a fivefold increase in renewable energy by 2020. But it will continue to champion poor countries in their demand that industrialised nations should assume the brunt of responsibility for decades of climate-warming emissions. Javadekar said India's INDC will be released on October 1 and will include targets not only for increasing renewable energy, but also for curbing its emissions intensity, or how much carbon dioxide the country produces divided by its GDP. The pledge will not include targets for cutting overall emissions, and it will not include a projection for when India's emissions growth might peak.  Associated Press 

Shell, BHP and GE to advise governments on climate change 
The oil group, Royal Dutch Shell, has teamed up with the McKinsey management consultancy and other large companies to advise governments on how to combat global warming without weakening their economies. Coal miner BHP Billiton, the US General Electric conglomerate and at least two big environmental groups are also backing a $6m "energy transitions commission" to create a blueprint for a greener global economy in the next 15 years, the Financial Times has learnt. But the commission, due to be formally unveiled at a conference in Texas on Monday, is already under fire from some climate campaigners asking if a body supported by fossil fuel companies can offer objective guidance on global warming.  Financial Times 

U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking 'trust gap' before Paris 
A looming federal budget confrontation and Republican hostility to UN global-warming talks threaten a US down payment into a key climate-aid fund, money considered vital to a climate deal in Paris this December. President Obama had requested $500m in the 2016 budget for the first tranche of its $3bn pledge into the Green Climate Fund. But Congressional Republicans have vowed to oppose that spending request, with some US officials now starting to warn island states and developing countries of the looming shortfall.  Reuters 

Pope Francis Skirts Environmental Tussles in Address to Congress 
In his New York Times blog, Andy Revkin notes how Pope Francis showed during his address to a joint session of the US Congress that "he is as adept at navigating political environments as he was impassioned about defending the global environment in his encyclical". He adds: "Words like carbon, climate and ecology were absent from his speech. He's wisely saving that message for the United Nations on Friday." The  Guardian, the  Hill and  InsideClimateNews also examine how the Pope chose to raise climate change in his speech. Separately, the  Guardian carries a story about Paul Ehrlich has written a commentary in Nature Climate Change describing the papal encyclical as "raving nonsense" for not dealing with human population control.  Nature Climate Change has published a special issue on the papal encyclical.  New York Times Dot Earth 

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