State of Climate Action

Assessing Progress toward 2030 and 2050

Download PDF


Allan, S., A.V. Bahadur, S. Venkatramani, and V. Soundarajan. 2020. “The Role of Domestic Budgets in Financing Climate Change Adaptation: A Background Paper for the Global Committee on Adaptation.” Oxford Policy Management.

America’s Pledge Initiative on Climate Change. 2019. “Accelerating America’s Pledge.”

Arabesque. 2020. “Analysing the Temperature Score.” February 4.

Archer, E., G. Hand, and S. Blair. 2013. “Validity of U.S. Nutritional Surveillance: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Caloric Energy Intake Data, 1971–2010.” PLOS ONE, October. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076632.

Bajzelj, B., K. Richards, J. Allwood, and P. Smith. 2014. “The Importance of Food Demand Management for Climate Mitigation.”

BankTrack. 2020. “BankTrack: Banks.”

Beresford, C. 2020. “GM Unveils Battery with Capacity Twice as Big as Tesla’s.” Car and Driver, March 4.

BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance). 2020a. “Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020: Executive Summary.”

BNEF. 2020b. BNEF Talk 2020: Electric Mobility: The End of the Beginning.

Bolton, P., M. Despres, L.A. Pereira da Silva, R. Svartzman, F. Samama, and Bank for International Settlements. 2020. “The Green Swan: Central Banking and Financial Stability in the Age of Climate Change.” Green Finance Platform.

Bonn Challenge. 2020. “Bonn Challenge.”

Brown, S., and D. Zarin. 2013. “What Does Zero Deforestation Mean?” Science 342 (6160): 805–7. doi:10.1126/science.1241277.

Bulkeley, H., and M. Betsill. 2003. Cities and Climate Change: Urban Sustainability and Global Environmental Governance. New York: Routledge.

Cadan, Y., A. Mokgopo, and C. Vondrich. 2019. “$11 Trillion and Counting.” DivestInvest, December 16.

CAT (Climate Action Tracker). 2020a. Methods Report: Elaborating the Decarbonisation Roadmap.

CAT. 2020b. Summary Report: Elaborating the Decarbonisation Roadmap.

C40. 2020. “C40 Climate Action Planning Resource Centre.”

Chile. 2020. “Annex Enhanced Ambition in National Climate Plans.”

Climate Action 100+. 2020. “Climate Action 100+: Global Investors Driving Business Transition.”

Climate Chance. 2019. “Synthesis Report on Climate Action by Sector.”

Climate Group. 2020. EV100 Progress and Insights Annual Report.

ClimateWatch. 2020a. “ClimateWatch: 2020 NDC Tracker.”

ClimateWatch. 2020b. “ClimateWatch: GHG Emissions.”

ClimateWatch. 2020c. “ClimateWatch: Long-Term Strategies.”

CoalSwarm. 2020. “End Coal: Summary Statistics.”

Cook-Patton, S. Forthcoming. Nature.

COP25 Presidency. 2019. “Climate Ambition Alliance: Nations Renew Their Push to Upscale Action by 2020 and Achieve Net Zero CO2Emissions by 2050: Annex 1 and Annex 2.”

CPI (Climate Policy Initiative). 2019. “2019 Global Landscape of Climate Finance.”

Cui, R.Y., N. Hultman, M.R. Edwards, L. He, A. Sen, K. Surana, H. McJeon, et al. 2019. “Quantifying Operational Lifetimes for Coal Power Plants under the Paris Goals.” Nature Communications 10 (1): 4759. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12618-3.

Ding, H., S. Faruqi, A. Wu, J.C. Altamirano, A.A. Ortega, M. Verdone, R.Z. Cristales, R. Chazdon, and W. Vergara. 2017. “Roots of Prosperity: The Economics and Finance of Restoring Land.” World Resources Institute.

EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). 2019. “International Energy Outlook 2019.”

Energy Transitions Commission. 2018. Mission Possible: Reaching Net-Zero Carbon Emissions from Harder-to-Abate Sectors by Mid-century.

Erickson, P., S. Kartha, M. Lazarus, and K. Tempest. 2015. “Assessing Carbon Lock-In.” Environmental Research Letters 10 (8): 084023. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/8/084023.

European Commission. 2018. “Annex IX Horizontal Assessment of the Adaptation Preparedness Country Fiches.”

European Commission. 2020a. “2050 Long-Term Strategy.”

European Commission. 2020b. “CO2Emission Performance Standards for Cars and Vans (2020 Onwards).” Climate Action.

Evans, S. 2019. “‘Profound Shifts’ Underway in Energy System, Says IEA World Energy Outlook.” Carbon Brief, November 13.

Ewing, J. 2020. “Volkswagen Hopes Fresh Logo Signals an Emission-Free Future.” New York Times, published September 8, 2019, updated September 14, 2020.

Falk, J. 2020. “The 1.5C Business Playbook.” Exponential Roadmap, January.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 2011a. Global Food Losses and Food Waste: Extent, Causes and Prevention. Rome: FAO.

FAO. 2011b. The State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture: Managing Systems at Risk. 1st ed. London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203142837.

FAO. 2018. “The Future of Food and Agriculture: Alternative Pathways to 2050.”

FAO. 2019. Moving Forward on Food Loss and Waste Reduction.

FAO. 2020. “FAOSTAT: Data.”

Fetzel, T., P. Havlik, M. Herrero, J.O. Kaplan, T. Kastner, C. Kroisleitner, S. Rolinski, et al. 2017. “Quantification of Uncertainties in Global Grazing Systems Assessment.” Global Biogeochemical Cycles 31 (7): 1089–102. doi:10.1002/2016GB005601.

GCA (Global Commission on Adaptation). 2019. “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience.”

GCA. 2020. “Call to Action for a Climate-Resilient Recovery from COVID-19.”

GCF (Green Climate Fund). 2018. “GCF/B.21/Inf.03/Add.01: Approach and Scope for Providing Support to Adaptation Activities—Addendum I: The GCF’s Approach to Adaptation: Analysis and Implications for the Fund.”

GCF. 2020. “GCF in Brief: Adaptation Planning.”

GCOM (Global Conference of Mayors). 2019. “Climate Emergency: Unlocking the Urban Opportunity Together.”

Ge, M., K. Lebling, K. Levin, and J. Friedrich. 2019. “Tracking Progress of the 2020 Climate Turning Point.” Working Paper. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

GFW (Global Forest Watch). 2020. “Global Forest Watch: Forest Monitoring Designed for Action.”

GlobalABC (Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction), IEA (International Energy Agency), and UNEP (UN Environment Programme). 2019. 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction.

GlobalABC, IEA, and UNEP. 2020. “GlobalABC Roadmap for Buildings and Construction, 2020–2050: Towards a Zero-Emission, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector.” Paris: IEA.

Griscom, B.W., J. Adams, P.W. Ellis, R.A. Houghton, G. Lomax, D.A. Miteva, W.H. Schlesinger, et al. 2017. “Natural Climate Solutions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (44): 11645–50. doi:10.1073/pnas.1710465114.

Hoffmann, C., M. Van Hoey, and B. Zeumer. 2020. “Decarbonization in Steel.” 2020. McKinsey.

Holland, M. 2018. “$100/KWh Tesla Battery Cells This Year, $100/KWh Tesla Battery Packs In 2020.” CleanTechnica, June 9.

Hsu, A., N. Goyal, and A. Weinfurter. 2020. “City-Level Emissions Reductions: What Can Successful Cities Teach Us.” Energy Post (blog), September 11.

IEA (International Energy Agency). 2017. “New CEM Campaign Aims for Goal of 30% New Electric Vehicle Sales by 2030.”

IEA. 2018. “CO2Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2018 Highlights.” Paris: OECD and IEA.

IEA. 2019a. “Energy Transitions Indicators.”

IEA. 2019b. “World Energy Outlook 2019.”

IEA. 2020a. “Building Envelopes.”

IEA. 2020b. “Cement—Analysis.”

IEA. 2020c. “Electric Vehicles.”

IEA. 2020d. “Global EV Outlook 2020.”

IEA. 2020e. “Industry Direct CO2Emissions in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030.”

IEA. 2020f. “Low Fuel Prices Provide a Historic Opportunity to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Consumption Subsidies.”

IEA. 2020g. “Share of Renewables in Power Generation in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000–2030.”

IEA. 2020h. “Tracking Buildings 2020.”

IEA. 2020i. “Low Fuel Prices Provide a Historic Opportunity to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Consumption Subsidies.”

IEA. 2020j. “Tracking Power 2020.”

IEA and CSI (Cement Sustainability Initiative). 2018. “Technology Roadmap Low-Carbon Transition in the Cement Industry.”,that%20are%20less%20carbon%20intensive%2C.

IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development). 2015. “Review of Adaptation Action in 15 Asian and African Countries.”

Initiative 20x20. 2020. “Initiative 20x20: Countries.”

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2014a. “Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

IPCC. 2014b. “Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers.”

IPCC. 2018. Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 oC.

IPCC. 2019a. “Chapter 3: Impacts of 1.5°C of Global Warming on Natural and Human Systems,” 138.

IPCC. 2019b. Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency). 2018a. “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2017.”

IRENA. 2018b. “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018.”

IRENA. 2020a. “Global Renewables Outlook: Energy Transformation 2050.”

IRENA. 2020b. “IRENA: Finance Dashboard.”

IRENA. 2020c. “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2019.”

Kann, D. 2020. “The Great Barrier Reef Likely Just Experienced Its Most Widespread Bleaching Event on Record.”

Larsen, G., C. Smith, N. Krishnan, L. Weischer, S. Bartosch, and H. Fekete. 2018. “Toward Paris Alignment.” World Resources Institute.

Lazard. 2020. “Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage: 2020.”

Le Quéré, C., R.B. Jackson, M.W. Jones, A.J.P. Smith, S. Abernethy, R.M. Andrew, A.J. De-Gol, et al. 2020. “Temporary Reduction in Daily Global CO2Emissions during the COVID-19 Forced Confinement.” Nature Climate Change 10 (7): 647–53. doi:10.1038/s41558-020-0797-x.

Levin, K., and D. Rich. 2017. “Turning Points: Trends in Countries’ Reaching Peak Greenhouse Gas Emissions over Time.” Working paper. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. publication/turning-points.

Levin, K., D. Rich, K. Ross, T. Fransen, and C. Elliott. 2020. “Designing and Communicating Net-Zero Targets.” Working paper. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Li, X., S. Qiu, and G. Shi. 2020. “3 Lessons from China’s Rocket Growth in Electric Vehicles.” TheCityFix (blog), August 5.

Löfqvist, S., and J. Ghazoul. 2019. “Private Funding Is Essential to Leverage Forest and Landscape Restoration at Global Scales.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 3 (12): 1612–15. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-1031-y.

LSE, GRICCE (London School of Economics, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment). 2020. “Climate Change Laws of the World.”

Mercure, J.-F., H. Pollitt, J.E. Viñuales, N.R. Edwards, P.B. Holden, U. Chewpreecha, P. Salas, et al. 2018. “Macroeconomic Impact of Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets.” Nature Climate Change 8 (7): 588–93. doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0182-1.

Met Office. 2019. “Forecast Suggests Earth’s Warmest Period on Record.”

Micha, R., S. Khatibzadeh, P. Shi, K. Andrews, R. Engell, and D. Mozaffarian. 2015. “Global, Regional and National Consumption of Major Food Groups in 1990 and 2010: A Systematic Analysis Including 266 Country-Specific Nutrition Surveys Worldwide.” BMJ Open, September. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008705.

Migliozzi, B., S. Reinhard, N. Popovich, T. Wallace, and A. McCann. 2020. “Record Wildfires on the West Coast Are Capping a Disastrous Decade.” New York Times, September 24.

Murphy, D. 2019. “Adaptation Actions in NDC Partnership Plans: Opportunities for Alignment with NAP Processes.” NAP Global Network (blog), June 7.

Nachmany, M., R. Byrnes, and S. Surminski. 2019. “Policy Brief National Laws and Policies on Climate Change Adaptation: A Global Review.” London School of Economics, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, December 9. .

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 2020a. “Ice Sheets: NASA Global Climate Change.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.

NASA. 2020b. “Key Indicators: Global Mean Sea Level.” NASA Sea Level Change Portal.

NASA. 2020c. “NASA Earth Observatory: 2019 Was the Second Warmest Year on Record.” January 15.

NASA. 2020d. “Antarctica Melts under Its Hottest Days on Record.” February 20.

Natural Capital Partners. 2019. “Deeds Not Words: The Growth of Climate Action in the Corporate World.”

NCE (New Climate Economy). 2018. Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century.

NDCP (Nationally Determined Contribution Partnership). Forthcoming. “NDC Partnership Country Requests on Adaptation (March 2020 Support Unit Analysis Based on December 2019 Data).”

NewClimate Institute. 2019. “Global Climate Action from Cities, Regions and Businesses: 2019.”

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). 2019. “Climate Change: Global Sea Level.”

NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center). 2020. “Greenland Ice Sheet Today.”

NYDF (New York Declaration on Forests) Assessment Partners. 2019. “Protecting and Restoring Forests: A Story of Large Commitments yet Limited Progress.”

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and IEA. 2019. “Update on Recent Progress in Reform of Inefficient Fossil-Fuel Subsidies That Encourage Wasteful Consumption.” Second Energy Transitions Working Group Meeting, Toyama, Japan, April 18–19.

Oliveira, J., E.E. Campbell, R.A.C. Lamparelli, G.K.D.A. Figueiredo, J.R. Soares, D. Jaiswal, L.A. Monteiro, et al. 2020. “Choosing Pasture Maps: An Assessment of Pasture Land Classification Definitions and a Case Study of Brazil.” International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 93 (December): 102205. doi:10.1016/j.jag.2020.102205.

Peters, G.P., G. Marland, C. Le Quéré, T. Boden, J.G. Canadell, and M.R. Raupach. 2012. “Rapid Growth in CO2Emissions after the 2008–2009 Global Financial Crisis.” Nature Climate Change 2 (1): 2–4. doi:10.1038/nclimate1332.

Phillips, N. 2020. “Climate Change Made Australia’s Devastating Fire Season 30% More Likely.” Nature, March. doi:10.1038/d41586-020-00627-y.

Pinchot, A., and G. Christianson. 2019. “How Are Banks Doing on Sustainable Finance Commitments? Not Good Enough.” World Resources Institute, October 3.

Porter, J., L. Xie, A. Challinor, K. Cochrane, S.M. Howden, M.M. Iqbal, D.B. Lobell, et al. 2014. “Food Security and Food Production Systems.” In Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A, Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ed. C.B. Field, V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, et al., 485533. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

PPCA (Powering Past Coal Alliance). 2020. “Working towards the Global Phase-Out of Unabated Coal Power.”

Quintana, H., and R. Gorman. 2019. “Global States and Regions Annual Disclosure.”

Ranganathan, J., D. Vennard, R. Waite, P. Dumas, B. Lipinski, and T. Searchinger. 2016. Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future. World Resources Institute.

REN21. 2019. Renewables 2019 Global Status Report.

REN21. 2020. Renewables 2020: Global Status Report.

Roe, S., C. Streck, M. Obersteiner, S. Frank, B. Griscom, L. Drouet, O. Fricko, et al. 2019. “Contribution of the Land Sector to a 1.5°C World.” Nature Climate Change 9 (11): 817–28. doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0591-9.

Roelofsen, O., K. Somers, E. Speelman, and M. Witteveen. 2020. “Plugging In: What Electrification Can Do for Industry.” McKinsey & Company. May 28.

Rogelj, J., D. Shindell, K. Jiang, S. Fifita, P. Forster, V. Ginzburg, C. Handa, et al. 2018. “Chapter 2: Mitigation Pathways Compatible with 1.5°C in the Context of Sustainable Development.” In Global Warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above Pre-industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Rothrock, P., L. Weatherer, and S. Zwick. 2019. “Targeting Zero Deforestation: Company Progress on Commitments That Count, 2019.” Forest Trends.

Runhaar, H., B. Wilk, Å. Persson, C. Uittenbroek, and C. Wamsler. 2018. “Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation: Taking Stock about ‘What Works’ from Empirical Research Worldwide.” Regional Environmental Change 18 (4): 1201–10. doi:10.1007/s10113-017-1259-5.

SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative). 2020a. “Companies Taking Action.”

SBTi. 2020b. “Financial Institutions.”

Schmitz, C., H. Van Meijl, P. Kyle, and G. Nelson. 2014. “Land‐Use Change Trajectories Up to 2050: Insights from a Global Agro‐economic Model Comparison.” Agricultural Economics 45 (1): 69–84.

Searchinger, T., R. Waite, C. Hanson, and J. Ranganathan. 2019. Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050. Final report. World Resources Report. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.

Seto, K.C., S.J. Davis, R.B. Mitchell, E.C. Stokes, G. Unruh, and D. Ürge-Vorsatz. 2016. “Carbon Lock-In: Types, Causes, and Policy Implications.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 41 (1): 425–52. doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-110615-085934.

Springmann, M., H.C.J. Godfray, M. Rayner, and P. Scarborough. 2016. “Analysis and Valuation of the Health and Climate Change Cobenefits of Dietary Change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (15): 4146–51. doi:10.1073/pnas.1523119113.

TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures). 2019. 2019 Status Report (June 2019).

Tilman, D., and M. Clark. 2014. “Global Diets Link Environmental Sustainability and Human Health.” Nature 515 (7528): 518–22. doi:10.1038/nature13959.

Tong, D., Q. Zhang, Y. Zheng, K. Caldeira, C. Shearer, C. Hong, Y. Qin, and S.J. Davis. 2019. “Committed Emissions from Existing Energy Infrastructure Jeopardize 1.5°C Climate Target.” Nature 572 (7769): 373–77. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1364-3.

2050 Pathways Platform. 2016. “2050 Pathways Platform Launch Announcement.” November 17.

UN (United Nations). 2015. “Sustainable Consumption and Production.” United Nations Sustainable Development (blog).

UN. 2019. “World Urbanization Prospects.” UN Population Division.

UNDESA (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs). 2019. “World Population Prospects 2019.”

UNEP (UN Environment Programme). 2016. The Adaptation Finance Gap Report.

UNEP. 2019. Emissions Gap Report 2019.

UNEP FI (Finance Initiative). 2019. “UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.”

UNEP FI. 2020. “UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance—United Nations Environment—Finance Initiative.” 2020.

UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). 2015. “Adoption of the Paris Agreement. Annex to Decision 1/CP.21, Document FCCC/CP/2015/10/Add.1, 29 January 2016.”

UNFCCC. 2020. “NAZCA Global Climate Action.” 2020.

Veliconga, I., Y. Mohajerani, A. Geruo, F. Landerer, and J. Mouginot. 2020. “Continuity of Ice Sheet Mass Loss in Greenland and Antarctica from the GRACE and GRACE Follow‐on Missions.”

Verhage, F., L. Cramer, P. Thornton, and B. Campbell. 2018. “Climate Risk Assessment and Agricultural Value Chain Prioritisation for Malawi and Zambia.”

Victor, D.G., F.W. Geels, and S. Sharpe. 2019. “Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition,” 140.

WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development). 2016. “Cement Industry Energy and CO2Performance: Getting the Numbers Right.” Cement Sustainability Initiative.

Wei, J., and K. Cen. 2019. “Empirical Assessing Cement CO2Emissions Based on China’s Economic and Social Development during 2001–2030.” Science of the Total Environment 653: 200–211. doi:

Weisse, M., and E.D. Goldman. 2019. “The World Lost a Belgium-Sized Area of Primary Rainforests Last Year.” 2019.

We Mean Business. 2016. “The Business End of Climate Change: How Bold Corporate Action Supported by Smart Policy Can Keep Temperature Rise below 2°C.”

Willett, W., J. Rockström, B. Loken, M. Springmann, T. Lang, S. Vermeulen, T. Garnett, et al. 2019. “Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT–Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems.” The Lancet 393 (10170): 447–92. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31788-4.

Williams, D.J.H., B. Haley, D.F. Kahrl, J. Moore, D.A.D. Jones, D.H. McJeon, D.S. Borgeson, et al. 2014. Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States. Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations.

WMO (World Meteorological Organization). 2020. WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019.

World Bank. 2019. “State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2019.”

World Bank. 2020. “Carbon Pricing Dashboard.”

World Economic Forum. 2019. “The Net-Zero Challenge: Global Climate Action at a Crossroads (Part 1).”

World Steel Association. 2019. “Factsheet: Steel and Raw Materials.” 2019.

WRI (World Resources Institute). 2019. “Green Targets: A Tool to Compare Private Sector Banks’ Sustainable Finance Commitments.” September 17.

Wright, C., and D. Nyberg. 2015. Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Xu, M., and D. Stanway. 2020. “China to Make National Carbon Trading ‘Breakthrough’ by Year-End: Official.” Reuters, January 14.

Start reading