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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
UNEP report – The Emissions Gap Report
Article Type: Books and resources From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 22, Issue 3
Nations have the chance to deliver almost 60 per cent of the emissions reductions needed to keep global temperatures under a 2°C rise, but only if the pledges made in 2009 in Copenhagen are fully met. These are among the findings of a new report compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and jointly authored by over 30 leading scientists from numerous international research institutes.
The findings spotlight the size of the “emissions gap” between where nations might be in 2020 versus where the science indicates they need to be. Key conclusions include:
Under a business-as-usual scenario, annual emissions of greenhouse gases could be around 56 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2020. As a point of reference, global emissions were estimated to be around 48 gigatonnes in 2009.
Fully implementing the pledges and intentions associated with the Copenhagen Accord could, in the best case identified by the group, cut emissions to around 49 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2020.
This would leave a gap of around 5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent that needs to be bridged over the coming decade - an amount equal to the emissions of all the world’s cars, buses and trucks in 2005.
In the worst case identified in the report – where countries follow their lowest ambitions and accounting rules set by negotiators are lax rather than strict – emissions could be as high as 53 gigatonnes in 2020, only slightly lower than business as usual projections. The report can be seen at: www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgapreport/