Our third annual Net Zero Atlas provides an updated analysis of G20 countries’ climate targets, mitigation strategies, and physical risk exposures. The report outlines a refreshed evaluation of the ‘temperature alignment’ of national climate commitments and actions for G20 countries. Critically it includes expanded analysis that considers the latest physical impacts of climate change on G20 countries and systematically assesses their approaches to adaptation planning. 

Key findings from our physical and transition risk research:

Physical risk

  • The physical effects of climate change are intensifying. The eight years since the conclusion of the Paris Agreement in 2015 are now the hottest measured.
  • Rising temperatures are fuelling new climate extremes, with heatwaves, wildfires and flooding becoming more common, damaging, and deadly. 
  • In contrast to transition strategies, G20 countries’ adaptation strategies are still in their infancy. Even as common features begin to emerge, G20 countries’ adaptation strategies are still heterogeneous and clearly identified best practice is yet to emerge. Despite recent progress, we find only limited evidence of systematic resourcing, implementation, and monitoring of adaptation plans, even among advanced G20 economies.

Transition risk

  • Our calculations show that achieving the mid-century targets of G20 countries would align with 2.1°C by the end of the century, unchanged from COP27.
  • We observe two gaps:
    • An ‘ambition gap’ as G20 countries’ 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets track towards half a degree higher temperatures than their mid-century targets (2.6°C vs 2.1°C)
    • An ‘implementation gap’ as G20 members policies are not yet sufficient to achieve the NDCs. In aggregate, we estimate annual emissions would be 7.9% higher under current policies than targeted under their NDCs.
  • Mirroring the emerging results of the Global Stocktake, our exploration of Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) curves suggests that closing the gap to a 1.5°C aligned trajectory can mostly be achieved through cost effective technologies. We estimate that 55% of the near-term abatement needed to get back on track at the G20 level by 2030 could be met through ready-to-use decarbonisation technologies like renewables.

Points of differentiation:

  • For the third year in a row, this report builds on our existing sovereign climate methodologies, providing Implied Temperature Rise (ITR) assessments and tracking progress for country level climate commitments and policies in the G20.
  • We combine these proprietary ITR assessments with MAC curves to estimate where emissions abatement might happen most economically. This allows us to observe how countries could ‘get-back-on track’ for 1.5°C aligned trajectories and in doing so the sectors where this abatement could happen.
  • We bring together expertise on both transition and physical risks, leveraging open-source databases and scientific literature to analyse past and future risks at the national and sectoral level. We also provide an assessment of adaptation policies in the G20 countries based on an extensive literature review.

Previous Net Zero Atlas reports