Daily News for Energy & Environment

World, Emissions Gap Report 2017: Governments, non-state actors must do more to reach Paris Agreement

Paris pledges only a third of what is needed to avoid worst impacts of climate change

Adopting new technologies in key sectors, at investment of under US$100/tonne, could reduce emissions by up to 36 gigatonnes per year by 2030, more than sufficient to bridge the gap

Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol, action on short-lived climate pollutants, and increased pre-2020 G20 ambition on Cancun pledges can also help minimize climate impacts

Governments and non-state actors need to deliver an urgent increase in ambition to ensure the Paris Agreement goals can still be met, according to a new UN assessment, unenvironment.org reads.

The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this worrying gap.

The Paris Agreement looks to limit global warming to under 2oC, with a more ambitious goal of 1.5oC also on the table. Meeting these targets would reduce the likelihood of severe climate impacts that could damage human health, livelihoods and economies across the globe.

As things stand, even full implementation of current unconditional and conditional Nationally Determined Contributions makes a temperature increase of at least 3 oC by 2100 very likely – meaning that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020.

Should the United States follow through with its stated intention to leave the Paris Agreement in 2020, the picture could become even bleaker.

The report does, however, lay out practical ways to slash emissions through rapidly expanding mitigation action based on existing options in the agriculture, buildings, energy, forestry, industry and transport sectors.

Strong action on other climate forcers – such as hydrofluorocarbons, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and other short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon – could also make a real contribution.

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