Category Archives: UN

Emissions Gap Report – UNEP – SA (and others) need to do more

UNEP, November, 2107.

The Emissions Gap Report 2017 A UN Environment Synthesis Report November 2017.

Executive summary

The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 set the specific goal of holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels, and of pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. This report, which is the eighth Emissions Gap Report produced by UN Environment, focuses on the “gap” between the emissions reductions necessary to achieve these agreed targets at lowest cost and the likely emissions reductions from full implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) forming the foundation of the Paris Agreement. It also explores potential for enhanced mitigation efforts in a number of key sectors, presenting cost-effective options for enhanced action to close the emissions gap. T

The governments of the countries with specific mention in the report have, throughout the process, been invited to comment on the specific assessment findings.

1. The overarching conclusions of the report are that there is an urgent need for accelerated short-term action and enhanced longer-term national ambition, if the goals of the Paris Agreement are to remain achievable — and that practical and cost-effective options are available to make this possible.

2. The Facilitative Dialogue and the 2020 revision of the NDCs are the last opportunity to close the 2030 emissions gap.

3. Global CO2 emissions from energy and industry have remained stable since 2014, but overall greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise slowly.

4. Global greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are likely to be at the high end of the range of the scenarios consistent with the 2°C and 1.5°C goals respectively, making it increasingly difficult to be on track to meet the 2030 emission goals.

5. A large gap exists between 2030 emission levels and those consistent with leastcost pathways to the 2°C and 1.5°C goals respectively. The 2°C emissions gap for the full implementation of both the conditional and unconditional NDCs for 2030 is 11 to 13.5 GtCO2 e. The gap in the case of the 1.5°C target is 16 to 19 GtCO2 e.

6. Most G20 countries require new policies and actions to achieve their NDC pledges.

7. Subnational and non-state action has the potential to reduce the emissions gap by a few gigatonnes CO2 e/year by 2030. Improved information about the impact of subnational and non-state action is urgently required.

8. The Kigali Amendment and the ICAO Offsetting Scheme provide some welcome additional momentum and may contribute just under 1 GtCO2 e to closing the gap in 2030.

9. The assessment of the emissions gap and the mixed progress on implementation of both the Cancun Pledges and the NDCs show that there is a significant distance between the current collective ambitions and commitments and what is required to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. It is therefore absolutely crucial that the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 addresses the need and the opportunities for significantly enhanced action pre-2030, including by assisting and informing countries in urgently strengthening their NDCs.

10. The emissions reduction potential by 2030 at costs <US$100/tCO2 e, compared to the current policy trajectory, is sufficient to close the emissions gap in 2030 under all cases assessed. It could in addition provide many benefits for other important environmental, social and economic goals.

11. Avoiding building new coal-fired power plants and phasing out existing ones is crucial to closing the emissions gap. This will require careful handling of issues such as employment impacts, investor interests, grid stability and energy access to achieve a just transition.

12. Reductions in SLCP emissions can be an important part of global mitigation efforts and contribute to the achievement of a number of Sustainable Development Goals. Significant potential, beyond existing commitments, is achievable with proven technologies, but dedicated policy action to establish legal frameworks and institutional capacity is required to unlock it.

13. Carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere can provide an additional mitigation element to conventional emission abatement strategies. Biological CO2 removal through afforestation, reforestation, forest management, restoration of degraded lands, soil carbon enhancement and biochar application in agriculture can play an immediate role, and can also significantly contribute to achieving several other Sustainable Development Goals.

Here is the full report: EGR_2017 Emissions Gap Report UNEP