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COP26 President Alok Sharma receives applause during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 13, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Top 5 Countries Reaching Climate Change Targets.

1. Morocco;

According to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) – an independent scientific analysis produced by two research organizations tracking climate action, Morocco is one of only two countries with a plan to reduce its CO2 emissions to a level consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C. 

Morocco’s National Energy Strategy calls for generating 42 percent of its electricity production from renewables by 2020, and 52 percent by 2030. Already it is at 35 percent, not least because of investment in such projects as the Noor Ouarzazate complex, the largest concentrated solar farm in the world, which covers an area the size of 3,500 football fields, it generates enough electricity to power two cities the size of Marrakesh.

2. The Gambia;

The Gambia is the other country with a 1.5 degrees C emissions reduction strategy. As with Morocco, one of its principal pathways to a reduction in the use of renewables is in the form of a program that will increase the country’s electricity capacity by one-fifth partly through the construction of one of the largest photovoltaic plants in West Africa. 

The country has also launched a large project to restore 10,000 hectares of forests, mangroves, and savannas. It is also replacing flooded rice paddies with dry upland rice fields and promoting the adoption of efficient cookstoves to reduce the overuse of forest resources.

3. India;

India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy, and in fact, it is investing more in them than it is in fossil fuels. Having established a goal of generating 40 percent of its power through renewables by 2030, its progress has been so rapid that it could easily reach that target a decade early, so there is every opportunity for India to increase that target. 

CAT calculates that India’s plan is compatible with a 2-degree C increase, but that its National Energy Plan could be 1.5 degrees C compatible if the country abandoned plans to build new coal-fired power plants.

4. Costa Rica;

Costa Rica aims for its electricity production to be 100 percent renewable by 2021. It’s already extremely close: in 2018 it generated 98 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—primarily hydropower—for the fourth consecutive year. 

Two-thirds of its greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation, and the country has made it a national priority to use renewable energy across its roads and rails. The National Plan for Electric Transportation calls for at least five percent of the bus fleet to be replaced by electric buses every two years, and for at least 10 percent of new taxi concessions to be given to electric vehicles. Additionally, in February 2019 Costa Rica extended a moratorium on oil extraction and exploitation from 2021 until the end of 2050.

5. European Union;

The EU was a comparatively early adopter of climate targets. In 2009, it set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020; its Paris target increased that to a 40 percent reduction by 2030. Its present policies, if fully enacted, would enable it to exceed that target. 

In May, the EU formally adopted into law a series of measures that included a binding target for 32 percent of electricity production to come from renewables by 2030. To achieve that figure across the EU, different countries within the bloc have adopted different national targets: For example, for Malta, the goal is 10 percent renewables, while for Sweden it is 49 percent.