Knowledge Note

"How should 10 years of global emissions assessments inform present climate action?"

To mark ten years of the first Emissions Gap Report, and inform the Climate Action Summit, the United Nations Environment Programme has documented the lessons learnt from a decade of emissions gap assessments. This report by UNEP finds that the last ten years have, in some ways, been a lost decade of climate action. Greenhouse gas emissions have only grown, and faster and deeper emission cuts are now urgently needed. Climate ambition additionally needs to rise at least fivefold to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement.

However, it also finds that the last decade has seen huge advances in political and societal support for climate action, and technological and economic options to take this action. The world may be currently be heading for a temperature rise of over 3°C, it states, but there have never more opportunities for nations to increase action to the levels needed to ward off the worst impacts of climate change. Read this report to learn how, by using currently proven technologies, the world can cut 33 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) per year by 2030, which is more than half of today’s global annual emissions and enough to meet the SDG 1.5°C target.

To learn more about UNEP and how it assists developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices, please click here.