USA

Critically Insufficient4°C+
World
NDCs with this rating fall well outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would exceed 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming of greater than 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Highly insufficient< 4°C
World
NDCs with this rating fall outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach between 3°C and 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Insufficient< 3°C
World
NDCs with this rating are in the least stringent part of a country’s “fair share” range and not consistent with holding warming below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming over 2°C and up to 3°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
2°C Compatible< 2°C
World
NDCs with this rating are consistent with the 2009 Copenhagen 2°C goal and therefore fall within a country’s “fair share” range, but are not fully consistent with the Paris Agreement long term temperature goal. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming could be held below, but not well below, 2°C and still be too high to be consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with holding warming below, but not well below, 2°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDCs in the most stringent part of its “fair share” range: it is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
Role model<< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDC is more ambitious than what is considered a “fair” contribution: it is more than consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. No “role model” rating has been developed for the sectors.

Fair share

We rate the USA’s mitigation efforts as “Critically insufficient” due to the fact that it is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, and hence annulling its NDC.

However, if the CAT were to rate the US NDC of 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025 (incl. LULUCF), it would be rated “Insufficient.” The “Insufficient” rating indicates that the US’s NDC in 2025 is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming between 2°C and 3°C. If all countries were to follow this approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. This means the US’s NDC is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and is not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.

The NDC target for 2025 could be considered a fair contribution to 2°C only from a very selective perspective. With the perspective that countries should have similar emissions reduction costs per GDP (effort sharing approaches that focus on capability and costs), the US NDC could be considered 2°C compatible because costs to reduce emissions in the USA, while keeping the high consumption levels, are high compared to other countries. However, considering the USA’s high historical emissions, high per capita emissions and high capability to act (approaches that focus on equality, equal cumulative emissions and historical responsibility) the NDC is highly inequitable and much more stringent reductions would be required and partially result in negative emission allowances in all years.

If the CAT were to rate the lower bound of the USA’s projected emissions levels in 2025 under current policies, we would rate USA “Insufficient”. If the CAT were to rate the upper bound of the USA’s projected emissions levels in 2025 under current policies, we would rate USA “Highly insufficient”, indicating that the USA’s current policies in 2025 are not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and are instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow the US’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means the USA’s current policies are not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories is available here.

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