According to the tenth edition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report which provides the latest assessment of scientific studies on current and estimated future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and compares these with the emission levels permissible for the world to progress on a least-cost pathway to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This difference between “where we are likely to be and where we need to be” has become known as the ‘emissions gap’.
The summary of findings are painting a bleak future. Countries collectively have failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required.
The key findings of the report are –
- GHG emissions continue to rise, despite scientific warnings and political commitments.
- G20 members account for 78 per cent of global GHG emissions. Collectively, they are on track to meet their limited 2020 Cancun Pledges.
- 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.
- Dramatic strengthening of the Nationally determined contributions (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.
In short, drastic action is needed to preserve Earth’s environment — and it will only get more difficult the more we delay.
* Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Reference- Futurism, Emission Gap Report 2019, TIME, The Guardian