Charlie Wilson co-authored a chapter in the latest UNEP report on where we are likely to be in the future compared to where we need to be in order to meet Paris Agreement targets. The report presents the latest data on the expected gap in 2030 for the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets of the Paris Agreement. It considers different scenarios, from no new climate policies since 2005 to full implementation of all national commitments under the Paris Agreement. For the first time, it looks at how large annual cuts would need to be from 2020 to 2030 to stay on track to meeting the Paris goals.
According to the first page of the report, “The summary findings are bleak. Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global greenhouse gas emissions… and there is no sign of emissions peaking in the next few years.” The report does find some glimmers of hope in the 70 national pledges for strengthened action following the UN Global Climate Action Summit in September. These pledges now need to be turned into concrete commitments prior to COP26 in Glasgow at the end of 2020.
To limit temperatures, annual emissions in 2030 need to be 15 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent lower than current unconditional NDCs imply for the 2°C goal; they need to be 32 gigatonnes lower for the 1.5°C goal. On an annual basis, this means cuts in emissions of 7.6 per cent per year from 2020 to 2030 to meet the 1.5°C goal and 2.7 per cent per year for the 2°C goal.
To deliver on these cuts, the levels of ambition in the NDCs must increase at least fivefold for the 1.5°C goal and threefold for the 2°C.
Read the full UNEP report here.