Sectoral Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Potentials in 2030

Published: 06/11/2017

Supporting the UNEP DTU Partnership in their preparation of the Emissions Gap Report 2017, Ecofys, a Navigant company, estimated the potential volume of greenhouse gas emissions that could be reduced globally in 2030 - at sector level. The Ecofys team assessed six sectors: agriculture, buildings, energy, forestry & other land use, industry and transport.

Ecofys estimated that the global emission reduction potential in 2030 is between 30 – 36 GtCO2e. This potential is sufficient to close the total emissions gap in 2030 between the current policy trajectory and the emissions consistent with a 2°C and a 1.5°C temperature target.

From the measures that we analysed in each sector, we found that collectively, solar and wind energy, efficient appliances, efficient passenger cars, afforestation and stopping deforestation have the potential to bridge the emissions gap. This is a remarkable finding for two reasons:

  • these measures can be realised at modest or even net-negative costs, and
  • a large number of countries have already demonstrated that implementing these measures is feasible.

Therefore, the question is of scalability. Countries that are lagging behind, should consider starting to replicate the low-carbon solutions that exist among these measures, based on the success of other countries. And countries that have advanced, should consider scaling up the measures to achieve the full potential.

The report was funded by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of The Netherlands.

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