Myanmar’s updated NDC, submitted to the UNFCCC in July 2021, includes a cumulative emission reductions target, of 121 MtCO₂e (unconditional) and 158 MtCO₂e (conditional) over the period 2021-2030 (cumulative), below BAU when excluding LULUCF. Compared to 2015 levels, this target translates to a 22% (unconditional) to 13% (conditional) increase in emissions, excl. LULUCF, above 2015 levels by 2030. The planned measures will primarily come from the power sector and are benchmarked against a BAU scenario.
Under 1.5°C compatible emissions pathways, Myanmar’s GHG emissions, excl. LULUCF would need to decrease by 28-49% from 2015 levels by 2030. In absolute terms, this would be a reduction from 60 MtCO₂e/yr in 2015 to between 31-43 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030 (excluding LULUCF). It would require that the most rapid rate of emissions reduction occur in the decade up to 2030. Myanmar would however need international support to implement mitigation measures that would close the gap between its fair share and its 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway.
The range of 1.5°C compatible pathways suggest a cumulative emissions reduction, excluding LULUCF, between 292-385 MtCO₂e from the NDC BAU scenario would be required between 2021 and 2030. Myanmar’s NDC targets would see cumulative non-LULUCF emissions reductions of 121 MtCO₂e (unconditional) or 158 MtCO₂e (conditional) during this time period. This is an ambition gap of at least 135 MtCO₂e.
Long term pathway
As of May 2022, Myanmar has not yet submitted a long-term strategy to the Paris Agreement. Under analysed 1.5°C compatible pathways, the country could see GHG emissions reductions, excl. LULUCF, of around 71% below 2015 levels by 2050.
1.5°C compatible pathways are characterised by an immediate decline in the use of fossil fuels, with primary energy from unabated coal, oil, and gas halving by the 2030s, and halving again by 2050. While some models see a significant development of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), these might be overestimating the potential of this costly and not yet proven technology.
Myanmar’s NDC assumes that emissions from the LULUCF sector will follow the estimated average annual levels during the period 2005-2015 for the next two decades. By 2030, LULUCF emissions decline by 49% and 94%, relative to BAU, and go negative by 2037 and 2031, under the unconditional and conditional scenarios respectively. It should be noted however that the FAO has estimated the country’s LULUCF emissions to be more than double the country’s reported LULUCF emissions in 2019.
Myanmar’s agricultural sector has historically been the largest source of non-LULUCF GHG emissions. The 1.5°C pathways forecast that this will remain the case in 2050, even though the pathways see emissions from this sector decreasing by 30-70% below 2015 levels.