The emissions gap and its implications

Rogelj J, Riahi K, & Kolp P (2013). The emissions gap and its implications. In: The Emissions Gap Report 2013: A UNEP Synthesis Report. Nairobi: UNEP.

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Countries have pledged to reduce or limit their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and at the same time have agreed to limit the increase in global mean temperature to 1.5 degrees C or 2 degrees C compared to pre-industrial levels. These two important commitments raise some critical questions:

-- Does the combined effect of these pledges put the world on a path towards limiting warming to below 1.5 degrees C or 2 degrees C with a high chance of success?

-- Is there an emissions gap between where the pledges lead and where pathways indicate emissions should ideally be?

-- What are the implications and trade-offs of such a possible emissions gap for the achievability of the 1.5 degrees C and 2 degrees C targets and their associated mitigation challenges?

Earlier emissions gap reports have set out to answer these questions by combining the assessment of where emissions are heading with an assessment of emission scenarios that could limit warming to below 1.5 degrees C or 2 degrees C. The assessment is updated here, as it has been annually since 2010.

UNEP's 2012 report mentioned a new class of scenario, termed later-action scenarios, that limit warming to 1.5 degrees C or 2 degrees C. The special aspect of these is that they allow the achievement of climate targets even though global emissions in the near term, up to 2020, are higher than in scenarios based on immediate action. In this 2013 report we take advantage of the many new articles that have been published on later-action scenarios and examine their implications and their assumptions much more closely.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Bibliographic Reference: In:; The Emissions Gap Report 2013: A UNEP Synthesis Report; UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya pp.13-22 (November 2013)
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Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:49
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2016 16:48

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