6 November 2015, Carbon Brief, Look beyond emissions gap to see full force of climate pledges, says UNEP report. Climate pledges submitted to the UN reduce the emissions gap between current action and what is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with social and political effects that reach far beyond their impact on aggregate emissions. That’s the optimistic conclusion of the latest UN Environment Programme (UNEP)Emissions Gap Report, published this morning. Nevertheless, it confirms that the collective ambition of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is “far from enough”, leaving a “very significant” emissions gap in 2030. The analysis comes just a week after a similar report from the UN climate body the UNFCCC, which aggregated the impact of the 119 INDCs submitted by 1 October. While many of the conclusions are similar, today’s UNEP report goes beyond a simple adding up pledges and considers the wider impacts of the INDCs, as well as options for closing the emissions gap through enhanced action, sub-national initiatives and efforts to reduce deforestation. Bending the curve. Like last week’s report, UNEP concludes that the INDCs represent a real increase in ambition, compared to the policies in place before the pledges were made. Some of the INDCs include both conditional and unconditional elements. However, even if fully implemented, the INDCs would leave emissions on an upwards trajectory in 2030, UNEP says.
A gap of 12-14 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent remains between emissions in 2030 and the cost-effective path to staying below 2C, it concludes. The 2C limit is the internationally agreed goal for avoiding the worst effects of climate change. All these points are illustrated on the UNEP graphic, below. The baseline scenario shows what might have happened to emissions if no new climate policies had been implemented after 2010. Current policies means what was in place before any INDCs were submitted in March. Read More here