Talk about a global emissions gap! It is still possible to keep global warming below 2°C, but the technical feasibility of bridging the 1.5°C gap is dwindling.
Global CO2 emissions increased in 2017, after a three-year period of stabilization.
If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal can still be reached.
Paris, 27 November 2018– Global emissions are on the rise. That’s first of all as national commitments to combat climate change come up short. But surging momentum from the private sector and untapped potential. Potential from innovation and green-financing offer pathways to bridge the emissions gap.
The flagship report from UN Environment annually presents a definitive assessment of the so-called ’emissions gap’ – the gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030, compared to levels consistent with a 2°C / 1.5°C target.
The findings presented today offer the latest accounting of national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
Evidence outlined here, just days before the start of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) show global emissions have reached historic levels at 53.5 GtCO2e, with no signs of peaking – the point when emissions switch from increasing to decreasing. Authors assessed that only 57 countries (representing 60 percent of global emissions) are on track to do so by 2030.
That analysis and a review of progress against national commitments under the Paris Agreement makes clear that the current pace of national action is insufficient to meet the Paris targets. Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap number in this year’s report is larger than ever. Translated into climate action, the authors conclude nations must raise their ambition by 3x to meet the 2°C and 5x to meet 1.5°C.
A continuation of current trends will likely result in global warming of around 3°C by the end of the century, with continued temperature rises after that, according to the report findings.
While the authors highlight that there is still a possibility for bridging the global emissions gap and keeping global warming below 2°C, the assessment issues a clear warning: The kind of drastic, large-scale action we urgently need has yet to been seen.
To fill this void, the 2018 Emissions Gap Report offers new insight into what meaningful climate action will look like. Through new analysis of global emissions in the context of fiscal policy, the current pace of innovation and an exhaustive review of climate action from the private sector and sub-national level, authors gathered here offered a roadmap for implementing the type of transformative action required to maximize potential in each of these sectors.
Ranging from city, state and regional governments to companies, investors, higher education institutions and civil society organizations, non-state actors are increasingly committing to bold climate action. These institutions are increasingly recognized as a key element in achieving the global emissions goals. Although estimates on the emission reduction potential vary widely, some mention 19 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2030. This is enough to close the 2°C gap.
Complimented by carefully designed fiscal policy, the potential is even greater.
These established pathways are further enhanced when policy makers embrace innovative solutions. Authors here outlined five key principles that should be considered to accelerate low-carbon innovation. Including risk-acceptance commercial scalability, holistic economic alignment. As well as mission-oriented approaches and a long term-horizon to increase financial uptake.
The ninth Emissions Gap Report has been prepared by an international team of leading scientists. All assessing all available information, including that published in the context of the IPCC Special Report. That’s as well as in other recent scientific studies.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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Source: UN Environment