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Discussion > The Paris Accords and INDCs

Bolivia next (INDCs submitted on 12th October 2015).

Whereas Iran's INDCs were very insistent regarding the damage done by international sanctions against Iran, Bolivia's INDCs see the world rather differently:

"The structural cause that has triggered the climate crisis is the failed capitalist system. The capitalist system promotes consumerism, warmongering and commercialism, causing the destruction of Mother Earth and humanity. The capitalist system is a system of death. Hence, capitalism is leading humanity towards a horizon of destruction that sentences nature and life itself to death. In this regard, for a lasting solution to the climate crisis we must destroy capitalism.

The capitalist system seeks profit without limits, strengthens the divorce between human beings and nature; establishing a logic of domination of men against nature and among human beings, transforming water, earth, the environment, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice and ethics into goods. In this regard, the economic system of
capitalism privatizes the common good, commodifies life, exploits human beings, plunders natural resources and destroys the material and spiritual wealth of the people."

There is much more in similar vein, as well as some interesting formulae to justify the growth of developing countries and to blame developed countries for the world's ills. Unfortunately I could find no definite commitments to any GHG emissions anywhere, despite many fine words such as:

"Bolivia considers that it must make fair and ambitious efforts to address the impacts of climate change, although it has not caused the phenomenon of global warming. Also, Bolivia defines its national contribution in the context of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its 169 goals, which are part of the new development agenda, from a holistic
view of the commitments, to be implemented voluntarily by each State and framed by the Political Declaration of the General Assembly resolution document. The fight against climate change for sustainable and harmonious development with nature on the basis of management systems life is present in this vision."

Nowhere can I see exactly how much filthy capitalist lucre they seek, though it is clear they would like some help and some money:

"... both periods consider the additional results that could be achieved with the support of international cooperation and the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, understanding cooperation as grant-based finance and technology transfer."

Jun 27, 2017 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Bosnia & Herzegovina next (INDCs submitted on 8th October 2015). Curiously it comes up on the computer as "Russian submission", so presumably Russia has had input. Given the problems they had with war in the 1990s, it is arguably a little unfair that they use 1990 as their starting point for their Business as Usual scenario, since 1990 saw historically high emissions, given the devastation that took place thereafter.

In any event, "In line with the trend of consumption and energy production growth, as a result of development of the
country, total emissions also have an upward trend. According to the developed scenarios - their peak occurs in 2030; according to the baseline scenario (BAU) in 2030 expected emissions are 20% higher than the level of emissions in 1990. Emission reduction that BiH unconditionally might achieved, compared to the BAU scenario, is 2% by 2030 which would mean 18% higher emissions compared to the base year 1990. Significant emission reduction is only possible to achieve with international support, which would result in emission reduction of 3% compared to 1990, while compared to
the BAU scenario it represents a possible reduction of 23%."

The unconditional offer amounts to nothing in reality, while the conditional offer looks rather more meaningful, though given the comparison with high 1990 levels (compared to current levels) of emissions, it's probably not quite so impressive as it at first seems. ("BiH is still below 1990 levels and in case the "business-as-usual" practice continues, 1990 levels will be reached in 2020").

The conditional offer is of course dependent on international funding (amount unspecified):

"...provided that Bosnia-Herzegovina is granted access to international development / financial mechanisms and that the relevant institutions are willing to absorb and cost-effectively use international mechanisms for the above mitigation activities, it will be possible to reduce emissions by app 23% in 2030 relative to the baseline scenario, i.e. 3% compared to 1990 level."

Jun 27, 2017 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Malawi next (INDCs submitted on 8th October 2015).

It has " estimated population of 17 million, growing at a rate of 2.8% per annum. Malawi’s current per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is $272." So that doesn't augur well. It also has "...very low emissions of around 1.4 t CO2e per capita in 2015..." and "Levels of GHG emissions in Malawi are very low, amounting to 0.04% of the total global
emissions in 2015" so really doesn't need to do anything, but like other undeveloped countries no doubt sees this as an opportunity to extract international finance via the UN.

"Between 2015 and 2040, total annual GHG emissions are expected to increase from the current level of approximately 29,000 Gg CO2 equivalents to in the range of 42,000 Gg CO2 equivalents, an approximately 38% rise. However, there is at present significant uncertainty about future emissions, particularly beyond the year 2020. While some of these uncertainties pertain mainly to endogenous economic and political factors, as a least-developed country the pace and scope of future emissions growth and the nation’s overall pursuit of low-emissions development will also hinge on the provision of international capacity building, technology transfer and financial assistance. The Government of Malawi is working with development partners to improve climate change related data management systems. Estimates suggest that between 14,000 and 16,000 Gg of CO2 equivalent will be saved per year by 2030 if a robust low emission
development path is adopted."

The last sentence is rather vague, and amounts so "send us money and we'll try to do something about GHG emissions." The offer is also rather vague and doesn't really enable us to assess whether or not it amounts to a real reduction in GHG emissions, or merely one against a BaU scenario:

"Implementing all unconditional and conditional mitigation activities is expected to reduce the per capita emissions of Malawi from 1.4 t CO2e per capita in 2010 to around 0.7 to 0.8 t CO2e per capita in 2030 compared to expected business as usual emissions of around 1.5 t CO2e per capita in 2030. Potential reductions from the energy sector will be additional to the expected overall per capita GHG emissions reduction."

Although they make it clear they seek international assistance, they don't put a number on it, so it's rather difficult to know what it all amounts to. Not a lot, I suppose, with " GHG emissions...amounting to 0.04% of the total global
emissions in 2015."

Jun 28, 2017 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I know it's getting boring now, but I've set myself the task, and I'm grateful to our host - I'd quite like this sort of loose analysis to be available somewhere on the internet, and this is as good a place as any. So, Argentina next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

As others have done, they take the opportunity to make some political points:

"The impact that the planet suffers today requires taking immediate measures which imply large economic effort. Thus, countries that have not yet reached full development are those that suffer most from this phenomenon, despite not being the principal responsible. In this sense, climate change increases inequalities that already exist among different nations, creating a new barrier for the development of countries."

And: "Argentina is composed of 23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, and includes the Malvinas Islands, the South Georgia Islands, the South Sandwich Islands, as well as the surrounding maritime space, which are an integral part of Argentina’s national territory. The islands are illegally occupied by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and are the object of a sovereignty dispute between the two countries, recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Decolonization Committee, and other international organizations."

They then seek to excuse their GHG emissions on a basis that many countries could use:

"In analyzing the country’s GHG emissions profile, one should consider the following:
a) The high energy consumption related to transport in a country which has a large territory;
b) The sustained increase in energy consumption in the residential sector is a consequence of a general policy of social inclusion, one of whose aspects is to guarantee universal access to energy under equitable conditions, as a determining element in the quality of life of its inhabitants;
c) The sustained increase in energy consumption in productive sectors as an undeniable strategic input for economic development and job creation;
d) Food production to satisfy the growing world demand, contributing to guarantee global food security."

Against that background, what are they offering?

"Unconditional Goal - Argentina’s goal is to reduce GHG emissions by 15% in 2030 with respect to projected BAU emissions for that year."

"Conditional Goal - Argentina could increase its reduction goal under the following conditions:
a) Adequate and predictable international financing; b) support fortransfer, innovation and technology development; c) support for capacity building. In this case, a reduction of 30% GHG emissions could be achieved by 2030 compared to projected BAU emissions in the same year."

So far as I can see from the graph that they offer, the unconditional offer would see GHG emissions rise in real terms by about 25%; the conditional offer would see them rise by a much smaller amount, but they would still rise. They also say " In most cases, the costs and benefits of the measures have been analyzed." However, their INDCs do not share those costs and benefits with us, so I cannot comment on the likely cost to the international community of supporting their conditional offer.

Jun 28, 2017 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mozambique next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015). Again, the elephant in the room:

"The Mozambican population has been increasing at a rate of 2,4% per year. According to the Demographic Census of 2007, the population was estimated at 20,6 million of inhabitants, from which 48% were men and 52% women. The demographic projection of the National Statistics Institute indicates that by 2030 the country will have about 36 million inhabitants, implying that the country will need to prepare the conditions for Mozambique to satisfy the needs of this number of inhabitants."

It is difficult to assess their proposed contribution since - to me at least - it is ambiguously expressed, and I cannot establish clearly whether their offered emissions reductions are against a BaU scenario or are an absolute reduction. I suspect the former, given their anticipated population increase, but I cannot say so definitively.

"Timetable - The INDC will be implemented between 2020 and 2030"

"Target level -...on a preliminary basis, the total reduction of about 76,5 MtCO2eq in the period from 2020 to 2030, with 23,0 MtCO2eq by 2024 and 53,4 MtCO2eq from 2025 to 2030. These reductions are estimates with a significant level of uncertainty and will be updated with the results from the BUR to be available by early 2018. The implementation of any proposed reduction is conditional on the provision of financial, technological and capacity building from the international community."

Clearly the achievement of their target reduction (whether that is absolute or relative) is conditional on international finance and help, but the extent of finance required is not stated. It's all just a little unsatisfactory in terms of trying to offer up a meaningful analysis.

Jun 28, 2017 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

India next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015). Obviously, this one is rather more important than most of the INDCs I have looked at so far.

They start with a lovely fluffy paragraph which makes all the right noises:

"Yajur Veda 36.17
{{Unto Heaven be Peace, Unto the Sky and the Earth be Peace, Peace be unto the Water, Unto the Herbs and Trees be Peace}}" And

"India has a long history and tradition of harmonious co-existence between man and nature. Human beings here have regarded fauna and flora as part of their family. This is part of our heritage and manifest in our lifestyle and traditional practices. We represent a culture that calls our planet Mother Earth. As our ancient text says; "Keep pure! For the Earth is our mother! And we are her children!" The ancient Indian practice of Yoga, for example, is a system that is aimed at balancing contentment and worldly desires, that helps pursue a path of moderation and a sustainable lifestyle. Environmental sustainability, which involves both intra-generational and inter-generational equity, has been the approach of Indians for very long. Much before the climate change debate began, Mahatma Gandhi, regarded as the father of our nation had said that we should act as ‘trustees’ and use natural resources wisely as it is our moral responsibility to ensure that we bequeath to the future generations a healthy planet."

The immediately following paragraph, however, makes clear where they are coming from and what their plans are:

"The desire to improve one's lot has been the primary driving force behind human progress. While a few fortunate fellow beings have moved far ahead in this journey of progress, there are many in the world who have been left behind. Nations that are now striving to fulfill this 'right to grow' of their teeming millions cannot be made to feel guilty of their development agenda as they attempt to fulfill this legitimate aspiration. Just because economic development of many countries in the past has come at the cost of environment, it should not be presumed that a reconciliation of the two is not possible."

They definitely want international money, and lots of it (more on that at the end of this piece) and set out their stall early:

"If the world indeed is concerned about its new investments to be climate friendly, it must consider the opportunity provided by a country like India where economic growth could be achieved with minimum levels of emissions by employing new technologies and finance for achieving low carbon growth. Developed countries can certainly bring down their emission intensity by moderating their consumption, and substantially utilize their investments by employing them for development activities in countries housing a vast majority of people barely living at subsistence level. The ratio of emission avoided per dollar invested and economic growth attained would be relatively more favourable in case of investments made in India."

The size of India and its population, and its anticipated growth, combined with the understandable desire to at least ameliorate, if not eradicate, poverty, make this a difficult circle to square:

"India accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area, but supports around 17.5% of the world population. It houses the largest proportion of global poor (30%), around 24% of the global population without access to electricity (304 million), about 30% of the global population relying on solid biomass for cooking and 92 million without access to safe drinking water. The average annual energy consumption in India in 2011 was only 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) per capita as compared to global average of 1.88 toe per capita. It may also be noted that no country in the world has been able to achieve a Human Development Index of 0.9 or more without an annual energy availability of at least 4 toe per capita.
With a HDI of 0.586 and global rank of 135, India has a lot to do to provide a dignified life to its population and meet their rightful aspirations."

"Given the development agenda in a democratic polity, the infrastructure deficit represented by different indicators, the pressures of urbanization and industrialization and the imperative of sustainable growth, India faces a formidable and complex challenge in working for economic progress towards a secure future for its citizens."

Their then follows a table of "key macro indicators" which are truly problematic. Population projected to grow from 1.2Bn to 1,5Bn (that's an increase of 300 million people, in case the use of billions lulls one into a false sense of small numbers) in just 16 years between 2014 and 2030. Over almost the same period (2011-2030), the numbers living in urban areas are expected to jump from 377 million to 609 million. Crucially, electricity demand (TWh)is expected to almost quadruple from 776 in 2012 to 2499 in 2030.

These key numbers are then expressed in terms of the challenge they imply:

"Almost all the macroeconomic models predict that anticipated needs in the future will be large. Rapid urbanization in the country will be one of the most dominant trends in the coming years. It is expected that about 40% of the population in 2030 would be urban as against 30% currently. As population expands and incomes grow, this shift will likely be realized alongside demographic changes that will exponentially increase the demand for urban amenities like housing, energy, transport, water, waste disposal. It is estimated that more than half of India of 2030 is yet to be built. In a way, India’s development process is doubly challenging. It not only has to complete the current unfinished development agenda, it
has to strategise for future pressures that may increase the magnitude of this development gap."

It is hardly surprising then that the INDCs make no reference to GHG emissions in absolute terms, or even against a Business as Usual scenario, since on either basis, emissions are bound to increase exponentially. Instead they choose to talk about "reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP". This is of course progress of a sort, but far from reducing emissions, will see them increase hugely, just not by as much as might otherwise have been the case. The extent to which emissions will skyrocket becomes clear by a quick look at some simple numbers. Their key macro indicators include "Per capita GDP in USD (nominal)", 1408 in 2014, happily increasing to 4205 in 2030. That looks like a trebling, which it is, broadly, on a per capita basis, but bearing in mind that the population is set to increase by 25% over broadly the same period it represents an increase of GDP of c. 370%.

Set against that is this INDC target: "To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005
level." Maths was never my strong point, but even if that optimistic level of emissions intensity reduction was achieved, it still looks to me like close to a doubling of emissions by 2030.

Not very impressive in terms of "saving the planet", albeit it might be a major achievement, given India's issues. But what will it cost? This is the really scary bit:

"Preliminary estimates indicate that India would need around USD 206 billion (at 2014-15 prices) between 2015 and 2030 for implementing adaptation actions in agriculture, forestry, fisheries infrastructure, water resources and ecosystems. Apart from this there will be additional investments needed for strengthening resilience and disaster management. An Asian Development Bank Study on assessing the costs of climate change adaptation in South Asia indicates that approximate adaptation cost for India in energy sector alone would roughly be about USD 7.7 billion in 2030s. The report also projects the economic damage and losses in India from climate change to be around 1.8% of its GDP annually by 2050. Mitigation requirements are even more enormous. Estimates by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) indicate that the mitigation activities for moderate low carbon development would cost around USD 834 billion till 2030 at 2011 prices.
India's climate actions have so far been largely financed from domestic resources. A substantial scaling up of the climate action plans would require greater resources. A detailed and full scale assessment of international climate finance needs will be finalized at a later stage and would depend on the gap between actual cost of implementation of India’s plans and what can be made available from domestic sources. While this would evolve over time, a preliminary estimate suggests that at least USD 2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices) will be required for meeting India's climate change actions between now and 2030."

Given that the USA seems to be expected to put up most of the funding, no wonder Trump decided to get out of the Paris Accords.

As a postscript; next time someone tries to tell you that India is cutting down on its use of coal, this should enable you to put them straight. Their actual policy is this:

"Clean Coal policies: Coal based power as of now accounts for about 60.8% (167.2 GW) of India’s installed capacity. In order to secure reliable, adequate and affordable supply of electricity, coal will continue to dominate power generation in future. Government of India has already taken several initiatives to improve the efficiency of coal based power plants and to reduce its carbon footprint. All new, large coal-based generating stations have been mandated to use the highly efficient supercritical technology. Renovation and Modernisation (R&M) and Life Extension (LE) of existing old power stations is being undertaken in a phased manner. About 144 old thermal stations have been assigned mandatory targets for improving energy efficiency. Coal beneficiation has been made mandatory. Introduction of ultra-supercritical technology, as and when commercially available is part of future policy. Besides, stringent emission standards being
contemplated for thermal plants would significantly reduce emissions."

Jun 29, 2017 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Belize next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

As with many little countries, one really wonders what is the point of their participating:

"Belize is a small country with relatively minor contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions and has limited capacity to contribute to mitigation of global climate change." And "Currently Belize as a Small Island Developing States contributes less than 0.01 percent to the global emissions and accounts for a small share of past and current greenhouse gas emissions."

They do have problems in achieving anything, thanks to the elephant in the room - "A rapidly growing population (with over a third in poverty and a largely unskilled labor force)." And "Concomitantly increasing energy demands."

They do have plans, but they do not offer up any estimate of their impact on GHG emissions:

"Unconditional - Enabling the existing policies, laws and projects, staff time and integration of development and climate change activities."


"Conditionality - Each activity is geared to address the sectors with significant contributions to Belize’s greenhouse gas emissions. These are activities for which Belize will access international support for finance, technology and capacity and most importantly have the potential to provide co-benefits for sustainable development."

Ah yes, money. Their plans fall under 12 heads, but they have only costed 4 of them, respectively (approximate estimates): USD $13,000,000; USD 5,158,000; USD 500,000-750,000; and USD 500,000 annually.

Small beer compared to India, but then so I suppose are their emissions.

Jun 29, 2017 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Algeria next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

"As a developing country, Algeria has no historical responsibility in terms of accumulation of greenhouse gases. Being a low GHG-emitting country, its current responsibility is very limited. In addition, country's socio-economic and development needs are continuously increasing in order to meet the legitimate expectations of its people, especially its youth."

"The provisional contribution of Algeria is submitted under the condition of access to new external financial resources from its bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as clean technology transfer on concessional and preferential terms and strengthening its technical capabilities.
This provisional contribution is designed taking into account the particularly difficult financial and economic present conditions of Algeria, due to the significant drop in oil prices."

What was that about oil? I thought you just said "Algeria has no historical responsibility in terms of accumulation of greenhouse gases"?

Never mind, this is quite impressive:

"By 2030, it aspires to the deployment, on a large scale, of photovoltaic and wind power as well as thermal solar energy, and the integration of cogeneration, biomass and geothermal energy. This program ultimately aims to reach the target that 27% of the electricity produced nationally is derived from renewable sources of energy.
In fact, Algeria, being the largest country in Africa, in the Mediterranean and in the Arab world, has one of the highest solar deposits in the world, estimated to exceed five billion GWh/yr. The annual sunshine duration is estimated to be around 2 500 hours on average, and could exceed 3 600 hours in some parts of the country.
In addition to its 200 thermal cities, Algeria, the tenth largest country in the world, has a geothermal reservoir composed of Albian groundwater, which extends over 700 000 km²."

It certainly seems to make a lot more sense than the UK's expensive, inefficient and unreliable drive for "renewables."

Anyway, what's the offer?

"The mitigation actions to be implemented by Algeria, planned for the 2021-2030 period, will lead to the following contribution:

Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions by 7% to 22%, by 2030, compared to a business as usual -BAU- scenario, conditional on external support in terms of finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building. The 7% GHG reduction will be achieved with national means."

The implementation period is 2021-2030. Unfortunately they don't tell us what it will cost the international community, nor do they tell us what a Business as Usual scenario will look like, so we are left guessing whether this will amount to a real GHG emissions reduction, or only a relative one, implying an increase in real terms. At 7-22%, I suspect the latter.

Jun 29, 2017 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Paraguay next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015). Unfortunately it's (not unreasonably) written in Spanish, so it's a struggle for me, but I can read enough to note the following:

They offer an unconditional 10% reduction of projected (i.e. Business as Usual scenario) GHG emissions by 2030, and a further 10% on a conditional basis. This isn't terribly impressive, and amounts to a significant increase in GHG emissions, given the following projections of millions of tons of CO2 equivalent:140 in 2011; 232 in 2020; and 416 in 230. On those numbers, even the total (including conditional) reduction by 2030 looks like close to a 150% increase over 2011 figures.

Not exactly "saving the planet".

Jun 29, 2017 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Botswana next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

This one is short and sweet:

"The country intends to achieve an overall emissions reduction of 15% by 2030, taking 2010 as the base year." For once, this sounds like a real reduction, rather than an increase couched as a reduction against Business as Usual assumptions.

The only downside is the cost: "It is estimated that to achieve the set target of 15% GHG emission reduction by 2030, the country would require approximately USD18.4 billion. These funds will be allocated to energy and transport sector infrastructural developments which will contribute to emission reductions."

Jun 29, 2017 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Chad next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015). In many ways it's a re-run of Botswana, but not so positive - short and sweet, commitment to reduction in GHGs against Business as Usual, at considerable international expense:

"Unconditional reduction of 18.2% of the country’s emissions compared to the reference scenario by 2030, approx. 41,700 Gg CO2e
Conditional reduction of 71% of the country’s emissions by 2030, cumulative reduction of 162,000 Gg CO2e"

"Funding needs:
Adaptation: 14.170 billion USD in total for the period, of which 11.380 will be used to achieve the conditional objective
Mitigation: 7.063 billion USD in total for the period, of which 6.540 will be used to reach the conditional objective
Total implementation cost of the INDC: 21.233 billion USD, of which 17.920 will be used to achieve the conditional objectives."

They do identify their big challenge in all this: " The largest challenge to overcome is the move, between now and 2030,
from a development model based on oil revenue, to a model based on a more diversified economy with sustainable utilisation of resources and an energy transition."

Given that Business as Usual would see a more than trebling of their GHG emissions the unconditional commitment would still see emissions almost treble. In fairness, the conditional commitment, if achieved, will see emissions marginally fall in real terms (see the graph on page 12 of their submission).

Jun 29, 2017 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Sierra Leone next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

They start with the almost obligatory "it's not our fault and it's going to be so terrible for us" mantra:

"Sierra Leone has been ranked as the third most vulnerable nation after Bangladesh and Guinea Bissau to adverse effects of climate change. Our vulnerable population has low capacity to adapt to climate change and the rural populations will be the most affected because of their high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods. According to the science of climate change, these impacts are likely to continue to affect Sierra Leone in the future, despite the country being least responsible for the problem since Sierra Leone’s contribution to global emissions of greenhouse gases is negligible."

As with some other countries, one might have thought Sierra Leone had better things to do than prepare INDCs (especially since "it’s historical contribution is low at 0.1% of the total global emissions"), but apparently not:

"Due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone which claimed 3,461 lives by February 2015 (WHO, 2015),the development gains made by Sierra Leone after the country’s emergence from a ten-year civil war in 2000 were rudely reversed. Notwithstanding these setbacks, Sierra Leone recently developed and adopted it’s National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (NCCS&AP) around which this INDC revolves."

Their projections indicate an increase in GHG emissions of roughly 30% between 2015 and 2030. Rather strangely, their timescale for implementation of their plans is 2030-2050.

Even then its offer is extremely vague and limited (prehaps understandably given the real problems it has to deal with):

"Sierra Leone is of the view that the key factors in determining the fairness of a contribution should include historical responsibility and respective capability to address climate change. In light of this the country considers the following points:

i) The country’s capability to implement this contribution is subject to limitations.
ii) The country has a very small emissions profile (<0.1% of global emissions and per capita emissions less than 0.2tCO2/ year.
iii) The country does not have absolute emission reduction targets, but has chosen the option of green growth and low emission pathway as elucidate in the NCCS&AP.
These gives a clear stand that the country is determined to continue playing its own part in addressing climate change by communicating a fair and ambitious contribution."


"Sierra Leone’s INDCs is framed in terms of desired outcomes. Through this INDC, Sierra Leone is committed to implementing specific emissions-reduction actions, such as policies or mitigation actions like advancing a feed-in tariff for renewable energy technologies, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, or converting to no-tillage agricultural practices. As a country whose emission levels are relatively low already, Sierra Leone could not commit to a certain outcome or result—for example, reducing emissions to a specific level (a greenhouse gas outcome). The domestic situation Sierra Leone faces i.e being solely dependent on fuel imports to meet its minimum energy needs, reducing emissions further than BAU can only be achieved through country wide LEDs which the country has already adopted.

It is against this backdrop, that this INDC intends to maintain the emission levels of Sierra Leone relatively Low (close to the world average of 7.58 MtCO2e) by 2035 or neutral by 2050 by reducing her carbon footprint and by following green growth pathways in all economic sectors.

This target will only be achieve by Sierra Leone with the availability of international support that will come in the form of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity building. This would require substantial donor support estimated to about $ 900 million."

Presumably the $900M is the reason why they have bothered.

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I would have offered an analysis of Honduras INDCs (submitted on 1st October 2015), but they're not unreasonably in Spanish, and no translation is offered. I can muddle through, but my Spanish isn't up to offering a reasoned analysis. Fortunately it's clear that they say their GHG contribution is less than 0.1% of global emissions, so I needn't feel too guilty about it.

FWIW I can also see that they're offering a 15% reduction against a Business as Usual scenario, over the period 2012-2030. I can also understand enough to see that the Business as Usual scenario involves an increase in GHG emissions by more than 50% over that period, so the offered 15% reduction amounts to a real terms increase.

I can also see that they're asking for money, though the amount doesn't seem to be specified.

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Thailand next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

They start with the usual:

"As a developing country highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Thailand attaches great importance to the global efforts to address this common and pressing challenge."

This is followed by a helpful summary box:

"Thailand intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from the projected business-as-usual (BAU) level by 2030.
The level of contribution could increase up to 25 percent, subject to adequate and enhanced access to technology development and transfer, financial resources and capacity building support through a balanced and ambitious global agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)."

"Thailand's national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions represent only 0.84% of global emissions in 2012. The country's share of cumulative emissions from 1990-2012 is 0.75%." This suggests that Thailand's share of GHG emissions is increasing. This in turn suggests that the Business as Usual scenario will see a significant increase in GHG emissions by 2030 (implying that the offered 20-25% reduction against BaU will represent a real increase), though it's not possible from the information supplied to be sure.

Nor do they say how much money they want, so it's difficult to make any further comment.

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015.

"The National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC) of Lao PDR was approved in early 2010, and states a vision on how to address climate change:

“To secure a future where Lao PDR is capable of mitigating and adapting to changing climatic conditions in a way that promotes sustainable economic development, reduces poverty, protects public health and safety, enhances the quality of Lao PDR’s natural environment, and advances the quality of life for all Lao People”."

Well, it's difficult to argue with motherhood and apple pie, but what are the specifics?

"...the country’s greenhouse (GHG) emissions were only 51,000 Gg2 in the year 2000, which is negligible compared to total global emissions. Despite this, Lao PDR has ambitious plans to reduce its GHG emissions..."

The detail contains 6 mitigation strategies:

1. Implementation of “Forestry Strategy to the year 2020” of the Lao PDR ("To increase forest cover to 70% of land area (i.e. to 16.58 million hectares) by 2020. Once the target is achieved, emission reductions will carry on beyond 2020.")

2. Implementation of Renewable Energy Development Strategy ("To increase the share of renewable energy to 30% of energy consumption by 2025. (Note that large scale technologies with installed capacity equal to or greater than 15MW are not included in this policy’s target.) For transport fuels the objective is to increase the share of biofuels to meet 10%
of the demand for transport fuels by 2025.")

3. Implementation of Rural Electrification Programme ("To make electricity available to 90% of households in rural area by the year 2020. This will offset the combustion of fossil fuels to produce power where there is no access to the electricity grid.").

4. Implementation of transport focused NAMAs

5. Expansion of the use of large scale hydroelectricity

6. Implementation of climate change action plans

They do put an emissions reduction against those 6 strategies, but it isn't clear (to me at least) whether they represent an absolute reduction against the level of current emissions, or only a reduction against a Business as Usual strategy. Whichever it is, however, it matters little given that their current emissions are "negligible compared to total global emissions." Furthermore, it all comes with a rather large price-tag attached:

"With respect to domestic resources for climate action, Lao PDR has apportioned USD12.5 million for climate change which represented approximately 0.14% of GDP in 2012. In order to implement the mitigation actions and address adaptation needs international support in the form of financial, technology transfer and capacity building is needed. An initial estimate of the financial needs for implementing identified mitigation and adaptation policies and actions is US$ 1.4 billion and US$ 0.97 billion..."

Jul 9, 2017 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

The Philipines next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015).

As usual..."The Philippines, an archipelagic country with a population of more than 100 million, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards. In the Global Climate Risk Index of Germanwatch, the Philippines ranked fifth with respect to the long-term Climate Risk Index (CRI) for the period of 1994 to 2014. In terms of the 2013 CRI, the Philippines is identified as the most affected country (ranked 1st)."

Brief digression - I thought I'd better look up Germanwatch. They're worth a look:

They should be one for the COP22 thread, really. They sent 7 people to COP22 as part of a Germanwatch delegation. In addition, Mr. Sönke Kreft, Teamleader International Climate Policy, GERMANWATCH went as part of the United Nations University delegation; Mr. Manfred Treber, Senior Adviser Climate/Transport at Germanwatch, German and EU Low-Carbon Policy Team attended as part of the Climate Action Network International delegation; and Mr. Christoph Bals, GERMANWATCH attended as part of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative delegation.

But, as Ronnie Corbett might have said, I digress.

"The Philippines intends to undertake GHG (CO2e) emissions reduction of about 70% by 2030 relative to its BAU scenario of 2000-2030. Reduction of CO2e emissions will come from energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry sectors. The mitigation contribution is conditioned on the extent of financial resources, including technology development & transfer, and capacity building, that will be made available to the Philippines."

It sounds impressive until you consider some of the assumptions relating to the Business as Usual scenario:

"For the Baseline scenario, historical GDP from 2010 – 2014 and an annual average of 6.5% for 2015 – 2030; and
Average annual population growth of 1.85%."

For a country which already has a population of "more than 100 million" this looks like the elephant in the room, and it looks therefore as though GHG emissions will actually grow, despite the headline 70% reduction (against BaU).

They don't put a price on their plans, but they do make it clear they are looking for financial assistance, and their plans are conditional on receiving it.

Jul 9, 2017 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Cameroon next (INDCs submitted on 1st October 2015). They are in French, so this will be brief, as although my French is better than my Spanish, it isn't as good as my English.

In short, using a baseline of 2010 and projecting forward to 2035, they propose a reduction of 32% against a Business as Usual scenario. It sounds impressive, until you realise that BaU will see GHG emissions increasing by more than 150%, so that the 32% "reduction" against that increase actually amounts to an increase of around 75%.

It is also conditional on international finance being made available. If I have read it correctly, the total costs of mitigation and adaptation proposed add up to more than $10Bn.

Jul 9, 2017 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I posted this on the wrong thread yesterday - too early in the morning for me! Apologies.

San Marino next (INDCs submitted on 30th September 2015).

Very impressive: "The Republic of San Marino, on the basis of the decision of the Government held on 28 September 2015, commits to reduce GHG emissions to 20% below 2005 levels by 2030."

If all countries were making such commitments, the Paris Accords might actually amount to something. Unfortunately, however, "San Marino contribution to global emissions is 0,00052%" so this is not going to achieve anything.

Jul 11, 2017 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Turkey next (INDCs submitted on 30th September 2015).

The elephant in the room, as so often: "Turkey achieved 230 per cent increase in GDP between 1990 and 2012. Its population has increased more than 30 per cent since 1990. Turkey’s energy demand increases by 6-7 percent every year."

Overview of the current situation:

"The greenhouse gas inventory of the year 2012 revealed that the total emissions in 2012 expressed in CO2 equivalent were 440 million tons in Turkey. The energy sector had the largest share with 70.2 percent. Industrial processes with 14.3 percent, waste sector with 8.2 percent and agriculture with 7.3 percent followed the energy sector. Turkey’s per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emission for the same year was 5.9 ton CO2 equivalent, which is much lower than the EU and OECD average."

Proposal: "Up to 21 percent reduction in GHG emissions from the Business as Usual (BAU) level by 2030." THe period for implementation is 2021-2030; starting in 2021 gives them lots of wriggle-room. Note also the weasel words "up to".

"Turkey aims to use carbon credits from international market mechanisms to achieve its 2030 mitigation target in a cost effective manner and in accordance with the relevant rules and standards." Does using "carbon credits" actually do anything to reduce real GHG emissions?

More weasel words: "Turkey is responsible for only 0.7 percent of the global emissions since the industrial revolution." That's not insignificant, but more important is Turkey's contribution to GHGs today, which would seem to be rather higher than 0.7% of the total when one considers this sentence:

"Rapid industrialization and urbanization have been taking place in Turkey over the last 30 years." To which might also be added rapid population growth.

They do helpfully provide a graph, which suggests that a Business as Usual scenario will see Turkey's GHG emissions almost trebling between 2015 and 2030. However, if they achieve their INDCs, then they will only double instead. So that's all right then.

In return for doubling their CO2 emissions, the international community will also have to provide them with money (amount unspecified):

"...Turkey will use domestic sources and receive international financial, technological, technical and capacity building support, including finance from the Green Climate Fund." And:

"Turkey is an upper-middle income developing country according to the World Bank classification. Turkey remains eligible to official development assistance (ODA)."

Jul 11, 2017 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Papua New Guinea next (INDCs filed on 30th September 2015).

"Papua New Guinea (PNG) has both very low absolute emissions and relatively low per capita emissions..." and "From a historical perspective, PNG’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been negligible and the state of the economy is such that the main burden for any mitigation undertaken by the country must be the responsibility of the developed countries that have been primarily responsible for the bulk of the world’s emissions." Which is probably fair enough.

"Longer term national economic projections suggest emission increases at around the 3-4% level per annum, meaning that the 2014 emission level of 5 Mt per year could increase to around 8 Mt per year by 2030. A doubling of oil and gas sector emissions would produce some 10 Mt of additional CO2 eq. emissions by the same date but the actual figure would depend on the extent of economically extractable oil and gas reserves, which are not well documented. Thus with BAU CO2 emissions in 2030 could reach 18 Mt CO2 per year (including CO2 eq in the oil and gas sector only)."

In other words, a Business as Usual scenario would see GHG emissions increasing by around 250% by 2030. So, what is to be done about it? Well, there's the rub - nothing really, without lots of foreign help and money:

"Papua New Guinea is a developing country that has not been responsible for most of the GHG emissions of the world. In addition it still faces multiple development challenges. Of the country’s approximately 7 million people, over 90% are employed in the informal sector and live an almost entirely sustainable fossil fuel free existence. Domestic and international surveys reveal widespread illiteracy, malnutrition, poor health and vulnerability to natural hazards, many of which will become more salient with climate change. In terms of equity PNG cannot be expected to mitigate out of its own resources and would need considerable international assistance."

I may have missed it, but I cannot find even a qualified commitment (dependent on finance) to mitigate emissions, even against a Business as Usual scenario. They would like money to help them with this (unspecified) task, however. They would also like money to adapt to climate change:

"In summary PNG is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and given the temperature increases locked in by present world emissions of greenhouse gasses, adaptation is a high priority. The country will need financial support, capacity building and technical support to face the uncertain future posed by climate change."

Jul 11, 2017 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

The Gambia next (revised INDCs submitted on 30th September 2015).

"According to preliminary inventory data for 2010 under the Third National Communication (being developed), the Gambia represented below 0.01% of the global emission and as such its contribution to climate change has always been marginal. At first sight it seems rather unfair to ask a country like The Gambia to contribute to the global emission reduction efforts, which implies that resources to be allocated to poverty reduction and development priorities will be arbitrated to take into account the requirements of the implementation of the Paris Agreement."

Indeed - so why bother? "...the Gambia would like to provide a moral voice for all responsible and capable countries to undertake actions that are proportionate for their responsibilities and capabilities not only for themselves, but for the whole global community."

Maybe...but maybe this also has something to do with it:

"Financial support from all sources will be needed for the implementation of this INDC. An assessment of the implementation options is needed between 2016 and 2018. Potential sources will include, the National Budget and proposed National Climate Fund, the financial mechanism of the Convention, bilateral and multilateral sources, other non-Convention financial and investments sources, as well as international and domestic private finance sources."

Still, "Treatment of the Land Use Land Use-Change and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions category has not been considered in the INDC. Excluding LULUCF and for Low Emissions Scenario, emissions will be reduced by about 44.4% in 2025 and 45.4% in 2030." NB THat's against a Business as Usual scenario.

Still, these are among the better INDCs in my opinion, for what it's worth. They seems to be sincere, and if implemented in full, might actually show a marginal reduction in GHG emissions. The problems are the cost, to be paid for by the international community, and the fact their omissions represent such a small proportion of the world's total that this won't make any significant difference to anything.

Jul 11, 2017 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Jul 11, 2017 at 8:35 AM | Mark Hodgson
San Marino has an interesting Wikipedia entry, existing as an independent (ish) country within Italy, having survived Garibaldi, WW 1 & 2.

"The country's economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. It is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions. San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus.[1] It is the only country with more vehicles than people."

There must be something very special and attractive to money about San Marino. If only they could export it.

Jul 12, 2017 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jul 9, 2017 at 7:33 PM | Mark Hodgson
Laos/Lao PDR
From Wikipedia again ...

"Laos is increasingly suffering from environmental problems, with deforestation a particularly significant issue,[40] as expanding commercial exploitation of the forests, plans for additional hydroelectric facilities, foreign demand for wild animals and nonwood forest products for food and traditional medicines, and a growing population all create increasing pressure.

The United Nations Development Programme warns that: "Protecting the environment and sustainable use of natural resources in Lao PDR is vital for poverty reduction and economic growth."[41

Laos is suffering from unsustainable population growth, not Global Warming, but blaming Global Warming is simpler.

Jul 12, 2017 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jun 30, 2017 at 9:08 PM | Mark Hodgson

Honduras, Wikipedia again reveals a somewhat high octane and particularly volatile political set-up. Wikipedia provides the following:

"About half of the electricity sector in Honduras is privately owned. The remaining generation capacity is run by ENEEEmpresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica). Key challenges in the sector are:

How to finance investments in generation and transmission in the absence of either a financially healthy utility or of concessionary funds by external donors for this type of investmentHow to re-balance tariffs, cut arrears and reduce losses, including electricity theft, without social unrest. How to reconcile environmental concerns with the government objectives – two large new dams and associated hydropower plants. How to improve access to electricity in rural areas."

Honduras is well aware that cheap electricity is what is required, and needs to be supplied, but that would reduce profits for the wealthy, unless they can secure secure $Billions of Global Warming cash

Jul 12, 2017 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jul 11, 2017 at 8:47 AM | Mark Hodgson

Turkey, there is another elephant in the room. Regime Change.

Climate Change has become even more irrelevant since they produce those figures.

Jul 12, 2017 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie