Among the 195 State Parties there are those who are pulling their weight and those who are not. In the coming days they will submit their contributions to the global effort for the planet. But according to UN research based on submissions over the last year, the effort will struggle to keep global warming within 2 degrees.
Today, four countries are setting the example, according to specialists. Two of the most ambitious countries are also among the smallest: Costa Rica and Bhutan (a small kingdom between China and India). Costa Rica is aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2021. As for Bhutan, it has already been carbon neutral since 2009. Ethiopia and Morocco have also presented very ambitious plans.
US and China - encouraging
Among the bigger nations, the cream of the crop have planned cuts of between 20 and 45% in CO₂emissions by 2030. This is the case of European Union countries, who have presented a common contribution for all 28 member states, and for Mexico and Brazil, who have made strong commitments for emissions reductions and renewable energy.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at COP21, 30th November 2015
One of the surprises of the conference, however, remains the commitment of the United States and China. The two largest polluters expressed their common and individual intentions one year ahead of the COP. But according to some NGOs, they are not doing enough to implement all possible means to develop renewable energies.
Hydrocarbon producers at the bottom of the barrel
But the richer countries are not all shining examples. Contributions from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Canada are all considered insufficient compared to their responsibilities. Canada, of course, signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 ... before famously withdrawing 4 years later.
Finally, and unsurprisingly, the oil and hydrocarbon producing countries are to be found at the bottom of the barrel. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Venezuela or Libya are yet to present any clear goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.