(Daily News Scan - DNS English) UNEP Emission GAP Report

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) UNEP Emission GAP Report

Important Points:

The annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) flagship emission gap report has been released. UNEP has warned that countries action to combat global warming is inadequate. It says that unless the green house gas emission falls by 7.6% between 2020- 2030, the world will not be able to track towards 1.5 degree centigrade temperature goal of the Paris agreement. The annual report compares the direction in which global green house gas emissions are headed, where they actually need to be if the world wants to save the planet from worst scenario.

In this DNS we will highlight the points and information released in the report.

Let us first understand what Emission gap is. Emission gap can also be called as the commitment gap. It measures the gap between what we need to do and what we are actually doing to tackle climate change. The gap is considered to be the difference between the low levels of emission that the world needs to drop to compare with the projected level of emissions based on countries current commitments to decarbonization. If we do not fix the emission gap and do not meet the target for emission reduction it will affect our climate immensely.

The Inter governmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that going beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius means bringing more destructive climate impacts which may include heat waves and storms. Countries cannot wait simply till 2020 to act on climate change commitments. The UNEP report shares that countries together failed to stop the growth in global emission of green house gas. Global emissions have been increasing by 1.5 percent by the past decade.

As per the reports, if the green house gas emission does not come down by 7.6% the target to meet the 1.5 degree temperature goal will not be achieved. The global temperature is set to rise about 3.2 degree centigrade by 2100, bringing catastrophic weather including deadlier heat waves, droughts and storms. The reports reveal total GHS emission including from land use change has reached 55.3 Giga tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The largest share of emissions comes from the energy sector and its fossil fuel emissions. Industry produces the next largest footprint, followed by forestry, transport, agriculture and buildings. By the year 2030 emission would need to be 25% and 55% lower than 2018 to put the world on least cost pathway to limiting global warming to below 2degeree centigrade and 1.5 degree centigrade respectively.

China, USA, European Union and India were among the top emitters in the last decade contributing to over 55% of the carbon emission. India is the fourth largest emitter of Green house gases. India along with Turkey and Russia are projected to be more than 15% lower than their target emission levels. These results suggest that these countries have a room to raise their Nationally Determined Contribution significantly.

Climate change can still be controlled if we start taking actions immediately. We have the technology and science to decarbonize our energy sources and transport system. We also have the knowledge to stop deforestation and all the methods are really very affordable. Each sector and country has unique opportunities to harness renewable energy, protect natural resources livelihoods and transition to a decarbonization pathway.

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