Nearly 20 years after governments established the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and 14 years following the agreement of the Kyoto Protocol, nations gather in the South African coastal city of Durban to resume the crucial climate negotiations.
Keeping average global temperature rise below 2°C has become the focus of international efforts crystallized first in Copenhagen in 2009, and reaffirmed in Cancún last year.
This report outlines how far the current commitments and pledges of developed and developing nations can take the world in terms of achieving the 2°C limit or less, and the gap that remains between ambition and reality. The analysis presented in “Bridging the Emissions Gap” has involved an unprecedented effort of climate modelling centres world-wide convened by the UN Environment .
There is abundant evidence that emission reductions of between 14 to 20 Gt of CO2 equivalent are possible by 2020 and without any significant technical or financial breakthroughs needed
The first in this series - underlined that in order to have a likely chance of keeping within the 2°C limit this century, emissions in 2020 should not be higher than 44 Gt of CO 2 equivalent. It suggested that if all the commitments and pledges were met in full, emissions would stand at around 49 Gt – a gap of 5 Gt needing to be bridged.
The analysis presented in this year’s report indicates that the gap has got larger rather than smaller, standing at around 6 Gt by around 2020. This is because new information has been included in the analysis.
Nevertheless, the report strikes an optimistic note by showing that greater leadership and ambition can bridge the gap and dramatically increase the chances of avoiding dangerous climate change. Indeed, there is abundant evidence that emission reductions of between 14 to 20 Gt of CO 2 equivalent are possible by 2020 and without any significant technical or financial breakthroughs needed