SEI Publication

Author(s): Kartha, S., and P. Erickson

Year: 2011

In: SEI Policy Brief

Type: Policy brief



Link to SEI authors:

Comparison of Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 pledges under the Cancún Agreements (Policy brief)

This report examines four recent detailed studies of countries’ mitigation pledges under the Cancún Agreements, for the purpose of comparing developed (Annex 1) country pledges to developing (non-Annex 1) country pledges. It finds that there is broad agreement that developing country pledges amount to more mitigation than developed country pledges.

That conclusion applies across all four studies and across all their various cases, despite the diversity of assumptions and methodologies employed and the substantial differences in their quantification of the pledges.

The studies also find that the Annex 1 pledges could be significantly diminished by several factors, such as lenient accounting rules on the use of surplus allowances, double-counting of offsets, and loose accounting methodologies for land use, land-use change, and forestry. The studies further note that the mitigation pledged globally is consistent with a global temperature rise of greater than 2°C – and possibly as much as 5°C. Avoiding this much warming would require developed countries to raise their pledges to the levels required by science and equity, and fulfil those ambitions through actual mitigation.

While this report concludes that developed country pledges are not high enough, it does not conversely imply that developing country pledges are too high. With appropriate international technological cooperation and sufficient levels of financial support, developing countries could also fulfil higher levels of ambition, consistent with keeping warming below 2°C or 1.5°C.

Note: This policy brief summarises SEI Working Paper No. 2011-06, of the same title, which was first released as an SEI-US working paper in June 2011. The policy brief was updated in February 2012 to correct a labeling error in Figure 1.

Download the policy brief (PDF, 464kb)

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