Since 2010, United Nations Environment (UNEP) has produced annual Emissions Gap Reports based on requests by countries for an independent scientific assessment of how actions and pledges by countries affect the global greenhouse gas emissions trend, and how this compares to emissions trajectories consistent with the long-term goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The difference has become known as the emissions gap. In addition to estimating the emissions gap, the reports focus on key options for achieving the emissions reductions necessary to bridge the gap, and provide an assessment of how these can be accelerated and scaled up. Countries have found these emissions gap assessments useful in informing the political process. This seventh Emissions Gap Report is based on requests by countries for an update that focuses on some of the key issues emerging with the adoption of the Paris Agreement and its specific long-term temperature goal.
This report estimates we are actually on track for global warming of up to 3.4 degrees Celcius. Current commitments will reduce emissions by no more than a third of the levels required by 2030 to avert disaster.
The 2016 Emissions Gap Report address the following four questions:
- What is the current status of pre-2020 mitigation action?
- What is the gap between the estimated level of global emissions in 2030 if the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions are fully implemented, and the range consistent with the well below 2oC or 1.5oC temperature goal?
- What are the possible emissions reduction contributions of non-state action and increased energy efficiency, and how can action in these areas be accelerated to enhance the ambition of nationally determined contributions?
- What do we know about the nexus between the Sustainable Development Goals and mitigation, and areas of alignment and conflict between the two?