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Paris Won’t Stop CO2 Emissions From Climbing

November 17, 2015
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By Paul Homewood



Now we have most of the INDC’s (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions), ie climate plans, submitted in advance of Paris, we can make some reasonably accurate forecasts of what they will all mean for global CO2 emissions.


The first thing to note is that the plans all set targets in terms of all GHG, not just CO2. However, it is not possible to compare such targets with either current emissions or baseline years, as the UNFCC does not have consistent and complete stocktaking records for each country. For instance, the last figure available for India is from 2000.

This is one of the big differences in the way that the Annex 1 countries (developed) have been treated, as these are compelled to file annual data.

Therefore for this exercise I am only looking at CO2, and where necessary will assume this changes in line with all GHG.

Secondly, I am going to ignore LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry), partly because the plans don’t always provide separate numbers for this, partly because it makes little overall difference for most countries, but mainly because its inclusion is regarded by many as controversial. There is a widespread belief that countries should not be allowed to ramp up industrial emissions, just because they can offset them against chopping down less trees.



Because some plans, notably China and India’s, only target against CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, forecasts of emissions in 2030 depend on how much economic growth is achieved. Therefore I have prepared two scenarios. The High Growth one assumes an annual rate of growth of 8% in China through to 2030, in line with the last few years, and Indian GDP in line with their govt projections.

The Low Growth one is probably more realistic. Chinese economic growth is in line with IMF predictions, at 6.6% per year to 2020, and 5.4% thereafter, while India’s is assumed to be 6%.

All of my calculations are sourced from the detailed work I have done previously, summarised here.


These are the results:-










  • Annual global emissions will 46% higher in 2030 than in 2013
  • While EU and US emissions drop by 1856 MtCO2, China’s increase by 10871, and India’s by 4895.








  • Global emissions are 21% higher in 2030.
  • Chinese emissions increase by 5104 MtCO2, 51% higher than in 2013.
  • Indian emissions increase by 2540 MtCO2, 105% higher.


It is worth making the point that lower growth is not growth foregone, it is growth postponed. In other words, if India’s economy does not grow as fast as their economic plan calls for, efforts will be made to keep growing after 2030 to make up for it.

After all, can you imagine a newly elected Indian Prime Minister in 2030 telling his electorate, after a decade of low growth, “Sorry chaps, we cannot go for high growth now because some guy called Modi tied our hands fifteen years ago”.

In any event, none of the INDC’s for developing countries will be binding, and if growth is lower than projected, there is nothing to stop the current or future Indian govt from amending the plan and making the targets easier.



According to Kevin Anderson, of the Tyndall Centre, we can afford to put no more than another 860 GtCO2 into the atmosphere if we are to avoid the dreaded 2C of warming. Even on the low growth scenario this allowance will be used up in little more than 20 years. There is clearly no way that the world will be able to stop all emissions after 2035, so it looks like Kevin might as well give up now, and go and get a proper job!



My detailed forecasts are below:



2013 2030 2030
MtCO2 High Low
China 9977 20848 15081
India 2407 7302 4947
Russia 1814 2503 2503
Japan 1245 931 931
S Korea 615 473 473
Saudi Arabia 520 620 570
Iran 612 690 650
Brazil 131 129 129
Indonesia 495 881 881
Mexico 465 436 436
S Africa 447 546 546
EU 3484 2552 2552
US 5232 4308 4308
Sub Total 27444 42219 34007
ROW 8686 10686 9686
World 36130 52905 43693




All actual emissions data is from CDIAC

  1. Joe Public permalink
    November 17, 2015 6:08 pm

    The other thing that Paris COP21 won’t stop from climbing, is climate evangelists’ Air Miles accumulations.

  2. November 17, 2015 6:52 pm

    Good work

  3. markl permalink
    November 17, 2015 7:14 pm

    “….target against CO2 emissions per unit of GDP…” China was the first to float this goal and it was touted by the Warmist Cult as a “win” when in fact it is nothing more than a foregone conclusion because of the slowing worldwide economy. Inevitably the economy is going to pick up and then what? Rhetorical question. Emission promises are not being made by any country and the only ones even making an effort are in the West. That won’t change and in fact will undoubtedly go to hell in a hand basket if/when the economy returns to it’s former robust growth. The Warmist Cult will be in a tizzy as people choose prosperity over alarmist claims and all the “promises” made at any convention will quickly become lost in time.

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      November 17, 2015 7:48 pm

      You are right here. The UNFCC Country brief cited below calculates 1990-2012 GDP growth averaged 10.3% and growth in “CO2 emissions from fuel combustion” averaged 6.1%.
      For India, the figures were much closer 6.5% and 5.7%. But I expect the gap to widen.

  4. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 17, 2015 7:32 pm

    Some good work here. By any measure emissions will increase through to 2030. More importantly emissions will be continuing on that upward trend well past 2030. The 2 degree scenario requires emissions to be tracking downwards by 2030, and steeply downwards thereafter. I would like to make a few points, that I hopes increases understanding of this.

    1. The above is for fossil fuel emissions only, for which there are comprehensive statistical estimates from CDIAC. Including other sources – principally land use and bovine flatulence – the IPCC estimated total 2010 GHG emissions to be 49GtCO2. With emissions climbing at 2% a year, total is 52GtCO2e. At that rate we are going to surpass Kevin Anderson’s 840Gt for 2C in 2027, not 2035.

    2. Full GHG emission estimates by country can be found by searching “UNFCCC Country Brief XXX” where XXX is the country. There are at least 50 available. Note the EU is lumped into one. For example for China get the following pdf –

    3. I think the high estimate for China is too high. China’s objective of stopping emissions increasing by 2030 is just stating what will happen anyway, like in many OECD countries 20-40 years ago. That said, at the other end of the list the high estimate for ROW is of a 2GtCO2 is somewhat prudent. Fairly high growth countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan and UAE are included.

    • November 17, 2015 7:53 pm

      Thanks Kevin

      I forgot to note that the CO2 numbers are from CDIAC

  5. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 17, 2015 9:00 pm

    Another comment that might further help put this post into context.
    Paul has referred to a number of times. They keep track of the INDCs from a more “consensus” perspective. There is an interesting briefing published on 1st October which is relevant.
    Here they claim that the impact of the INDCs will be to constrain warming in 2100 to 2.7C instead of 4.1-4.8C. Using the CDIAC total GHG Emission figures (for which there is no country-by-country breakdown) they estimate with the INDCs will constrain the increase to 53-54 GtCO2 from about 47GtCO2 in 2010. The maximum increase is slightly smaller that Paul’s, but uses the broader measure. What is more, they believe that in 2100 the INDCs will effectively reduce the emissions to 30-40GtCO2, instead of the 80-170GtCO2 without policy.

    Here Paul shows that the INDCs do not stop emissions climbing. In fact if policy was fully implemented it would make very little difference.
    The UNFCCC makes the same 2.7C claim about the INDCs. Their Business as Usual forecast (RCP8.5 in AR5 Synthesis Report) for 2100 is much tighter – about 140GtCO2 and quite reasonable as a forecast on the surface. The really interesting part is the breakdown of the forecast by country and then reconciling these to the vague language of the INDCs.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      November 17, 2015 10:14 pm

      The fundamental question is “does CO2 cause more warming?”.
      Until that is established all these schemes are nonsense. Let me put it this way….
      Unicorn farts are warming the planet and causing the climate to change, therefor we have to get the unicorns to adopt a non-flatulent diet, or just shoot most of them.
      Time for a series of expensive and useless international meetings to “tackle” this problem? Send money, lots of money.

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        November 18, 2015 12:00 am

        Graeme: regarding Unicorns

        I do not see them listed elsewhere, but wonder how they fit into this scheme:

        “… the regulation assigns animal unit equivalents of 1 for a cow (either by herself or with an unweaned calf), 0.7 for a yearling of the genus Bos, 1.5 for a bull, 1.25 for a horse, 0.2 for a sheep, 0.2 for a llama, and 0.1 for an alpaca.”

  6. Paul2 permalink
    November 17, 2015 9:36 pm

    This was aired earlier tonight. The guy interviewing people on camera proved himself to be as intelligent and a bog roll. The usual biased BBC crapola.

  7. catweazle666 permalink
    November 17, 2015 11:41 pm

    Paris Won’t Stop CO2 Emissions From Climbing

    Does anyone – anyone at all – expect to?

    All that will be decided is which five star resort will host next year’s piss-up.

    These 40,000 troughers aren’t going to do themselves out of a good thing!

    • November 18, 2015 11:16 am

      Perhaps the next Troughing could be held in Sanaa or Islamabad, that would test their beliefs! Al Rakka would be the world’s best option of course kill two birds with one stone.

  8. CheshireRed permalink
    November 18, 2015 12:50 pm

    To summarise: the serially-deluded EU and the Obama-nutter US will drive their collective economies to the wall fighting a non-existent pretend-problem while the rest of the world points and laughs.

    • markl permalink
      November 18, 2015 4:28 pm

      CheshireRed commented: “….To summarise: the serially-deluded EU and the Obama-nutter US will drive their collective economies to the wall fighting a non-existent pretend-problem while the rest of the world points and laughs.”

      Yes. However, I believe it is not about temperature. It’s about the ‘wealth redistribution’ that’s become so fashionable. So in that context they will be successful unless the people wake up.

  9. November 18, 2015 3:49 pm

    Oh dear, oh dear

    • catweazle666 permalink
      November 18, 2015 6:56 pm


      I used to quite like Julia Bradbury’s stuff.

      • John Palmer permalink
        November 19, 2015 1:24 pm

        +1…. but maybe no longer!
        I really don’t know how they got her to do that piece, she’s usually a bright and questioning person.
        She even managed to keep a straight face throughout!

        …. ain’t there something (else) happening in Paris soon?

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