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Sources: UNFCCC; ClimateWatch; Climate Action Tracker; IEA; Net Zero Tracker
Note: GHG emissions figures include Land-use Change and Forestry (LUCF) emissions.
Up and down arrows represent change in emissions compared to the previous year
Greenhouse Gases (GHGs): Any gas that absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include, but are not limited to, water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone (O3), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Carbon dioxide is a product of fossil fuel combustion. Although carbon dioxide does not directly impair human health, it is a greenhouse gas that traps terrestrial (i.e., infrared) radiation and contributes to the potential for global warming.
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC): A national-level climate action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts that is submitted to the UN. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, Paragraph 2) requires each Party to establish a NDC and update it at least every five years. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives stated in their respective NDCs.
Long-term Strategy (LTS): A country's official, comprehensive plan to achieve low greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change over an extended period. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, Paragraph 19) points out that it is necessary for countries to prepare and submit long-term climate strategies that carry through to mid-century or 2050.
2030 Emissions Reduction Target: A specific goal, typically in absolute form or intensity-based, set by a country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.
Net Zero Target: A goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. Any remaining emissions are counterbalanced by removing an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as through carbon sequestration by forests and oceans.
Coal Phase-Out: A policy measure aimed at ending the combustion of coal in coal-fired power plants to produce energy and/or electricity.
Clean Energy: Energy that emits little to no greenhouse gas emissions. It includes renewable sources and other carbon-free sources, such as nuclear power. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, which produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Methane (CH4): A hydrocarbon that is a short-lived yet potent greenhouse gas that could trap 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide over 20 years. Methane is produced through anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal wastes, production and distribution of natural gas and petroleum, coal production, and incomplete fossil fuel combustion.
Deforestation: Practices or processes that result in the conversion of forested lands for non-forest uses. This is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect for two reasons: 1) the burning or decomposition of the wood releases carbon dioxide; and 2) trees that once removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the process of photosynthesis are no longer present.
Transport: Motorized transport on land, sea and air remains dependent on internal combustion engines that generally run on fossil fuels. More than a third of CO2 emissions from end‐use sectors come from transport.
Glasgow Breakthroughs: A set of commitments unveiled during the COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow which aim to accelerate the innovation and deployment of clean technologies in five key sectors: power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, and agriculture.
Carbon Pricing: Placing a fee on emissions and/or offering an incentive for emitting less in order to curb carbon and/or greenhouse gas emissions. The price signal created shifts consumption and investment patterns, making economic development compatible with climate protection.