Environment Emissions Gap Report

In November 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the eighth edition of Environment Emissions Gap Report.

Key Highlights
  • Big carbon emissions gap exists between the levels that can be achieved in 2030 with present climate commitments.
  • Full implementation of the ‘unconditional’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and comparable action afterwards “could result in a temperature increase of about 3.2° C by 2100 relative to pre-industrial levels”.
  • Full implementation of ‘conditional’ NDCs would marginally lower that projection by about 0.2°C.
  • The breaching of the safe limits that is possible even with current climate commitments (i.e. NDCs) indicates that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions when they are revised in 2020
  • Fossil fuels and cement production account for about 70% of greenhouse gases, the report noted.
  • Exploring “negative emission technologies”: it explores removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as an additional way to mitigate climate change, over and above conventional abatement strategies.
Backdrop

Paris Agreement on Climate Change aimed to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and called for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.

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