Global climate action – April update Research Brief

Apr 22, 2016 - 6:00am

This Friday in New York, over 150 countries will gather to sign the Paris Agreement. The largest signing ceremony ever undertaken for an international agreement. This represents the next step in its implementation. The Australian government has
stated it will sign the agreement.

The signing ceremony is occurring against the backdrop of some positive, and some not so positive, global trends.

Renewable electricity continues to outstrip fossil fuel investment. 2015 set another record for global investment in renewable energy of over US$285 billion, with over US$156 billion of this happening in developing countries like China, India and Brazil. China accounted for around 36 per cent of total investment. Total renewable investment was more than double that in coal- and gas-fired generation.

Global energy sector emissions appear to have remained flat since 2013. According to the International Energy Agency, the worldwide surge in renewable electricity generation has had a critical impact on global electricity emissions.

However, the climate system continues to warn us of the consequences of not acting decisively to reduce emissions. For example, the global average temperature in February was the highest for that month in more than 130 years. February marked the tenth consecutive month in which the global monthly average temperature record was broken. The Japanese Meteorological has reported that March may be the 11th with temperatures once again well above the average.

This update covers the recent steps countries have taken to reduce emissions and boost clean energy growth. It also outlines the next steps in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and what Australia needs to do next.

Click below to download the PDF of the update, click here to see our related press release, and click here to see our Paris climate summit page.

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