UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019
Summary of key points
We are on the brink of missing the opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C. If we rely only on the current climate commitments of the Paris Agreement, temperatures can be expected to rise to 3.2°C this century. Temperatures have already increased 1.1°C, leaving families, homes and communities devastated. Annual emissions must drop rapidly to 25 gigatons by 2030. Based on today’s commitments, emissions are on track to reach 56 Gt CO2e by 2030, over twice what they should be. Collectively, if commitments, policies and action can deliver a 7.6% emissions reduction every year between 2020 and 2030, we CAN limit global warming to 1.5°C. Delayed action delays the inevitable. Delayed action sends the eventual price tags for sea defenses; food security; infrastructure adaptation ever higher. While we wait, emissions continue to be released into the atmosphere, and the cost and difficulty to reduce them only becomes more challenging.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Incremental changes will not be enough and there is a need for rapid and transformational action.
GHG emissions continue to rise, despite scientific warnings and political commitments, a record 55.3 GtCO2e in 2018.
G20 members account for 78 per cent of global GHG emissions.
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.
The emissions gap is large. In 2030, annual emissions need to be 15 GtCO2e lower than current unconditional NDCs imply for the 2°C goal, and 32 GtCO2e lower for the 1.5°C goal.
Dramatic strengthening of the NDCs is needed in 2020. Countries must increase their NDC ambitions threefold to achieve the well below 2°C goal and more than fivefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal.
Enhanced action by G20 members will be essential for the global mitigation effort.
Decarbonizing the global economy will require fundamental structural changes, which should be designed to bring multiple co-benefits for humanity and planetary support systems.
Renewables and energy efficiency, in combination with electrification of end uses, are key to a successful energy transition and to driving down energy-related CO2 emissions.
Demand-side material efficiency offers substantial GHG mitigation opportunities that are complementary to those obtained through an energy system transformation.
Source: United Nations Environment Programme (2019). Emissions Gap Report 2019. UNEP, Nairobi. http://www.unenvironment.org/emissionsgap
Last updated 28 November 2019