UN’s Emissions Gap Report

The tenth edition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report was recently released.

Report Summary

  1. Despite scientific warnings and political commitments, GHG emissions continue to rise, including by China and the United States, the two biggest polluters.
  2. GHG emissions have risen at a rate of 1.5 per cent per year in the last decade, stabilizing only briefly between 2014 and 2016.
  3. Total GHG emissions, including from land-use change, reached a record high of 55.3 GtCO2e [gigatonnes (thousand million tonnes) of carbon dioxide equivalent] in 2018.
  4. Although the number of countries announcing net zero GHG emission targets for 2050 is increasing, only a few countries have so far formally submitted long-term strategies to the UNFCCC.

What is emission Gap?

The Emissions Gap could also be called the “Commitment Gap”. It measures the gap between what we need to do and what we are actually doing to tackle climate change. The gap is the difference between the low level of emissions that the world needs to drop to, compared with the projected level of emissions based on countries’ current commitments to decarbonization. It provides the latest assessment of scientific studies on current and estimated future Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and compares these with the emission levels permissible for the world to progress on a least-cost pathway to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

What is UN’s Emission Gap Report?

The Emissions Gap Report measures and projects three key trend lines:

  1. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions every year up to 2030.
  2. The commitments countries are making to reduce their emissions and the impact these commitments are likely to have on the overall emission reduction.
  3. The pace at which emissions must be reduced to reach an emission level that would limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree C, affordably.

The report also identifies key opportunities for each country to increase the pace of emission reduction necessary to close the gap.

Source: The Hindu

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