12.11.2013

More must be done if we are to achieve the two-degree global warming target

In 2010, the 194 member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed on the objective of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius. However, the climate change mitigation measures that have so far been pledged around the world will not be sufficient to achieve this goal. This is the central message of the Emissions Gap Report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, which has been published annually since 2010, indicates the extent to which greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in order to ensure that the two-degree upper limit remains achievable. According to the latest figures, even if the measures so far pledged by the world’s governments are implemented, we will still emit eight to twelve gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent more than the agreed maximum by 2020.

As the report states, the total amount of carbon dioxide equivalent released by 2020 must not exceed 44 gigatonnes, and emissions must continue to fall rapidly thereafter. The authors stress that this goal is still achievable and indicate sectors in which greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced on a large scale.

The report was produced under the supervision of UNEP in cooperation with 44 scientific research groups from 17 countries, and with financial support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Executive summary of the report (PDF 2.6 MB, external)