Six of the world’s wealthiest countries are failing to take action required to meet environmental commitments they signed up to under the new Paris Agreement.
That is according to the findings according to new research, presented by UK scientists at the UN climate summit in Morocco.
The report, from the University of Leeds and London School of Economics and Political Science, found the US, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have not been doing enough to meet their pledges to fight global warming.
The study concludes that the countries, part of the G20 forum for 20 major world economies, “lack overall framework legislation or regulation on climate change.”
The six were also found to be behind on meeting their 2020 targets or had failed to set any.
The report recommends the six “move from sectoral to economy-wide targets and extend the timeframe of their targets to 2030” to address the shortcomings .
The UK – along with China and the EU as a bloc – was deemed to have undertaken measures that were “either completely or mostly consistent with the key requirements of the Paris Agreement”.
The US is ranked second after China in the top ten biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. The EU is in third place.
Professor Lord Stern of Brentford, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, says the findings highlight the difficulties countries may face to honour the agreement, which sets out a global action plan to limit warming to well below 2°C.
He added:“In particular, the study shows that there will be a challenge for the new administration in the US when it enters office next year.
“Some of Donald Trump’s previous public statements suggest that he may not fully appreciate the risks to the American people from unmanaged climate change, and the attractiveness of low-carbon economic growth.”
He warned that the new administration will have to “act strongly”.
He added: “It can, and should, work to build the smart, clean and efficient infrastructure that enables growth across the whole economy.
“That is the way to increase productivity, competitiveness, exports and jobs.
“Success does not lie in protecting the outdated and dirty industries of the past, with increasing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”