The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
The report has been prepared by an international team of leading scientists, assessing all available information. The governments of countries mentioned specifically in the report have been invited to comment on the specific assessment findings; independent experts have also been invited to review the different chapters.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- Paris pledges only a third of what is needed to avoid worst impacts of climate change
- Adopting new technologies in key sectors, at investment of under US$100/tonne, could reduce emissions by up to 36 gigatonnes per year by 2030, more than sufficient to bridge the gap
- Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol, action on short-lived climate pollutants, and increased pre-2020 G20 ambition on Cancun pledges can also help minimize climate impacts
The report lays out practical ways to slash emissions through rapidly expanding mitigation action based on existing options in the agriculture, buildings, energy, forestry, industry and transport sectors.