Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care
- It is still possible to keep global warming below 2°C, but the technical feasibility of bridging the 1.5°C gap is dwindling.
- Global CO2 emissions increased in 2017, after a three-year period of stabilization.
- If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal can still be reached.
Global emissions are on the rise as national commitments to combat climate change come up short. But surging momentum from the private sector and untapped potential from innovation and green-financing offer pathways to bridge the emissions gap. Those findings along with a sweeping review of climate action and the latest measurements of global emissions were presented by authors of the 2018 Emissions Gap Report during a launch event here.
The flagship report from UN Environment annually presents a definitive assessment of the so-called ’emissions gap’ – the gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030, compared to levels consistent with a 2°C / 1.5°C target.
The findings presented today offer the latest accounting of national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
Evidence outlined here, just days before the start of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) show global emissions have reached historic levels at 53.5 GtCO2e, with no signs of peaking – the point when emissions switch from increasing to decreasing. Authors assessed that only 57 countries (representing 60 percent of global emissions) are on track to do so by 2030.
That analysis and a review of progress against national commitments under the Paris Agreement makes clear that the current pace of national action is insufficient to meet the Paris targets. Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap number in this year’s report is larger than ever. Translated into climate action, the authors conclude nations must raise their ambition by 3x to meet the 2°C and 5x to meet 1.5°C…