Solar engineer in India
A barefoot solar engineer in a village in the Eastern Ghats of Orissa, India. (Photo credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith – Panos Pictures – UK Department for International Development / Flickr)

To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, countries need to cut carbon pollution – fast.

But Bill Hare of the research think tank Climate Analytics says most countries are not on track. Climate Analytics partners on a project called the Climate Action Tracker. It analyzes the impact of climate policies in 32 countries that produce about 80% of global emissions.

Hare says some have adopted policies that could significantly reduce carbon pollution.

“If you take India as an example,” he says, “there’s a lot going on in renewable energy and electric vehicles, for example, that wasn’t really happening five or more years ago.”

But he says most countries’ efforts are insufficient. Climate Action Tracker estimates that based on countries’ current policies, temperatures will likely rise by more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. That could cause catastrophic sea-level rise and devastating weather extremes.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, meeting the Paris goals is still feasible. But Hare says it won’t happen unless countries implement far more ambitious policies on climate.

“The urgency on the policy side is getting more and more acute,” he says.

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Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.