G-20 economies slow pace of decarbonisation, PwC study shows

Global decarbonisation fell to 0.5 per cent, below the 12.9 per cent required to keep temperature rises in line with the target. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - Decarbonisation rates in the Group of Twenty (G-20) economies slumped to their lowest level in two decades last year, consulting firm PwC said, falling short of what is needed to reach the world's climate goal.

PwC said the pace of change needed to pick up to get back on track with an objective of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

"No country in the G-20 is decarbonising quickly enough to maintain a safe climate," PwC Net Zero Economy Index showed.

Global decarbonisation fell to 0.5 per cent, a long way below the 12.9 per cent required to keep temperature rises in line with the target, while in the G-20, it landed at just 0.2 per cent.

Dan Dowling, partner at PwC UK, said in a statement the world was falling "alarmingly" short of the rate needed to meet the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2030 deadline to reduce emissions by 43 per cent from 2010 levels.

The next round of global climate talks is in November.

The average global rate of decarbonisation must now reach 15.2 per cent year-on-year, the PwC analysis revealed, 11 times faster than that achieved since 2000.

The rate of global decarbonisation refers to the reduction in carbon intensity, or energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per dollar of GDP

Nine out of the G-20 economies, which together account for around 80 per cent of global energy-related emissions, increased their carbon intensity in 2021, PwC said, based on levels of energy consumption relative to their GDP and its carbon content.

South Africa was the strongest performer, with a decrease of 4.6 per cent, followed by Australia at 3.3 per cent and China at 2.8 per cent.

"Nations must make radical changes to both their energy mix and their energy usage," Dowling said. "If we fail, the costs of adapting to climate change will continue to increase."

"Simply put, we do not have enough time for poor decarbonisation performance to become the norm, regardless of unexpected events, and whatever their magnitude," he added. REUTERS

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