Paris: World Agrees to Increase Emissions

farmers praying for rain, Ranchi, India, 2013

farmers praying for rain, Ranchi, India, 2013

The circus is over. The suits are leaving Paris. There have been millions of words written about the text. But one fact stands out. All the governments of the world have agreed to increase global greenhouse gas emissions every year between now and 2030. [1]

Why? Because all the countries have agreed to accept the promises of all the other countries. Among the top 20 countries for emissions, here are the countries that have promised to increase their emissions a lot by 2030: China, India, Russia, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam.

And here are the countries in the top 20 that have promised to cut their emissions by about 1% a year between now and 2030: USA, European Union, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina.

The countries that won’t cut will increase a lot will increase a lot. The countries that will cut will not cut by much. You would never know this from the way the agreement has been reported by the UN or the media.

They phrase everything as a promise to cut emissions. But they phrase these promises in ways that lie. So some countries, like Korea and Mexico, promise to cut emissions compared to Business as Usual (BAU). Business as Usual means the current UN estimate of how much emissions will increase if nothing is done. So a promise to cut only compared to Business as Usual is a promise to increase emissions.

Other countries, like India and China, promise to cut emissions in terms of carbon intensity. Carbon intensity is the amount of carbon in fossil fuels that is needed to produce the same amount of work. Carbon intensity has been going down in the United States for a hundred years. It is going down all over the world. This is because we learn to use coal, oil and gas more efficiently, just like we learn to use everything else in industry more productively. So a promise to cut carbon intensity is a promise to increase emissions.

Or they play tricks with time. Russia promises to cut emissions by 25% by 2030, compared with emissions in 1990. But the Russian economy collapsed after 1990, so the emissions were much higher in 1990 than they are even now. A promise to cut emissions compared to 1990 by 25% is a promise to increase emissions by 30% compared to this year.[2]

Then there are the rich countries which promise to cut emissions by a lot. But they always choose a comparison date to make them look good.

The US, for instance, promises to cut emissions in 2030 by 26% compared to 2005. But US emissions in 2014 were already 9% lower than in 2005. So really they are only promising to cut emissions by 15% in the next fifteen years.

The European Union promises to cut emissions by 40% compared to 1990. But EU emissions are already 20% less than they were in 1990. So this is a promise to cut emissions by 20% in the next 15 years.

So some countries will increase emissions a lot and some countries will cut them a little.

The regions of the world that will increase emissions already make two thirds of global emissions. The regions that will cut emissions a little make one third of global emissions.[3]

You do the math. They are lying. Emissions will rise every year. The leaders of the world have betrayed humanity. All we have on our side is seven billion people. Now we go home and mobilise.

Jonathan Neale, Global Climate Jobs








14 thoughts on “Paris: World Agrees to Increase Emissions

  1. Pingback: At COP21, the world agreed to increase emissions

  2. The US is pretending it has reduced its emissions since 2005. What we’ve done is off-shore our manufacturing sector to India and China and other countries.The salad shooters, cellphones and fake Christmas trees that are being purchased in the US are now made in China, so it’s on their c02 tab. Americans, even Americans who self-identify as environmentalists, don’t have a clue what sort of changes we’d need to make to come anywhere close to the reductions needed to avert climate collapse and mass extinction. Hint: The Japanese recirculate dishwasher water for bathing and Germans unplug all their instant-on appliances at night. We can’t save the planet if we continue to use suburban sprawl as our development pattern.


  3. The world needs-
    1. Clean water to drink
    2. Recharge of ground water tables
    3. Recycling of waste water, saline water and innovations in these areas
    4. Improving Soil fertility without chemicals, and fertilizers but with bio dynamic, organic manure
    5. Promote growing millet and grains that need least water or can be drip irrigated
    6. Change food habits as this can save a lot- eat when you must and eat only healthy food
    7. Do not give free electricity to farmers for farming who do not use it judiciously
    8. Let every student of every course spend at least 304 months on a farm to know and learn farming and importance of food in life (design such a curricula all over the world that school. college,university students take part in soil preservation, water preservation and joining hands in growing food)
    9. Rich can fund any natural/ organic and healthy food chain related research and save the soil on this planet


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  5. Pingback: At COP21, the world agreed to increase emissions By Jonathan Neale – Investigating the New Imperialism

  6. Excellent, and necessary, article. No surprise.
    In any talk at either governmental or business levels of cutting emissions, I am still waiting to hear anyone talking about Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) and how cutting down (or out, which would be my personal preference) fossil fuels, we can live the same lives we do now in privileged societies.
    This article is vital reading in the face of all the public nonsense.


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  9. Pingback: Paris: World Agrees to Increase Emissions | Climate Justice Aotearoa

  10. Thank you for a fine article. But please correct the date listing of it on the website: “November 9”. The date confuses the presentation of the article.


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