UNEP - The Emissions Gap Report 2012

Published: 22/11/2012

One of the fundamental questions in the global climate negotiations is: what level of “ambition”, in terms of collective emission reductions, is needed to protect global climate? To help answer this question UNEP and the scientific community have published a series of reports on the “emissions gap” since 2010. Of particular interest to the ambition question is the gap in 2020 between emission levels consistent with the 2°C climate target and emissions levels projected if country reduction pledges are fulfilled.

The estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of being on track to stay below the 2°C target is 8 - 13 GtCO2e (depending on how emission reduction pledges are implemented), as compared to 6 to 11 GtCO2e in last years’ Bridging the Emissions Gap Report. The gap is larger because of higher than expected economic growth and the inclusion of double counting of emission offsets in the calculations. The assessment clearly shows that country pledges, if fully implemented, will help reduce emissions to below the Business-as-Usual (BaU) level in 2020, but not to a level consistent with the agreed upon 2°C target, and therefore will lead to a considerable “emissions gap”.

As key supporters and contributors to the UNEP Emissions Gap report since its inception Ecofys continued this year by providing lead and contributing authors for the 2012 report.

The full report is available for download at: unep.org

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Kornelis Blok
UNEP - The Emissions Gap Report 2012