A handful of countries worldwide—from the United States to Gabon—have submitted pledges to the United Nations outlining what they’ll do to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of global warming.
So far, experts have given most of the submissions to date, which represent 36 of a total of 150 countries, lukewarm reviews, warning they won’t do enough to stave off a dangerous rise in the planet’s temperature.
An analysis released last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists argues that pledges by the United States and European Union (which represents 28 of the 36 countries that have submitted pledges) fall particularly short in one critical area in particular—land use, which includes agriculture and forestry and contributes one-fourth of the globe’s total emissions.
Although both the United States and the European Union could reduce major emissions in this sector, (such as reducing beef consumption and clamping down on food waste in the United States), both pledges include “practically no mention of specific actions that they plan to take in the land sector.”
In contrast, Mexico makes strong land use commitments, reveals the UCS analysis. Its pledge, for example, commits to ending deforestation by 2030.
“While the U.S. and the E.U. INDCs are cause for concern, Mexico’s emissions reduction target genuinely addresses the land use sector,” said Doug Boucher, the lead author of the report, in a statement. “Mexico is a true leader in this sense.”
For more information about climate pledges and land use, read these articles:
Scientists: US and EU climate plans blind to land use emissions fears – BusinessGreen.com
US, EU fall flat on cutting forest emissions – Responding to Climate Change