The Emissions Gap Report 2014

Authors: UN Environment

EGR2014_cover_1.pngThe Emissions Gap Report 2014 presents the latest estimates of the emissions gap in 2020 and beyond and provides information about:

  • current and projected levels of global greenhouse gas emissions, both in the absence of additional policies and consistent with national pledge implementation;
  • the implications of starting decided emission reductions now or in the coming decades; and
  • how energy efficiency measures can help promote development while contributing to emission reductions.

While the report updates the 2020 emissions gap analysis, it gives particular attention to the so-called global carbon emissions budget – a measure of the greenhouse gas emission volumes that are consistent with the 2 °C temperature target. In addition, the report provide estimates of the emissions gap in 2025 and 2030, as international climate change negotiations are increasingly focusing on time horizons beyond 2020. This analysis benefits from the findings of the latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the Fifth Assessment Report, released in 2013 and 2014.

This fifth report provides an updated measure of the emissions gap. In addition, this year’s update of the analysis calculates an emissions gap relative to expected emission levels in 2030, in recognition of the growing focus that action beyond 2020 is gaining in international climate change negotiations.

This is the fifth issue in the series of ‘emission gap’ reports. The series is primarily conceived as a scientific assessment of the peer-reviewed literature on climate change mitigation scenarios. It focuses on examining the gap in 2020 between emission levels consistent with the 2 °C limit, and levels expected if country pledges/commitments are met. With each report in the series UNEP has documented that the gap is large, but can be bridged through concerted action that promotes both development goals and climate change mitigation.

The international community is negotiating a new global climate agreement, which is expected to be a blueprint for curbing emissions of greenhouse gases and adapting to the climate change we are already committed to. The goal of the ‘emissions gap report’ is to provide independent and authoritative input to international negotiations and, more generally, to support policy making for action on climate change.