Analyzing the 2030 emissions gap


At the 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP20) in December 2014 in Lima, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Lima Call for Climate Action. This meant that parties acknowledged a gap between mitigation pledges and the necessary emission levels needed to limit the increase in global average surface temperature to below 2◦C by 2100. The Lima Call for Climate Action also meant that parties reaffirmed the Warsaw decision to communicate Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) well in advance of COP21 in Paris, November 2015. 


By the 8th of December, 158 INDCs have been submitted, covering 185 nations. Greenhouse gas emissions from these nations made up around 92 percent of total world emissions in 2012.


This analysis quantify global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 2030 assuming all INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat by October 1st are implemented (official UNFCCC deadline). The analysis is extended to include INDCs submitted until the 8th of December, as a COP21 update. The analysis then compares this level of emissions to the emissions pathway consistent with limiting global warming to below 2C (UNEP Emissions Gap Report, 2014). By doing so an emissions gap is revealed, defined as the difference in GHG emissions between the INDC emissions pathway and the 2C emissions pathway. 

Main results are summarized here:

  • Combined mitigation efforts of submitted INDCs reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by around 7.5 GtCO2e compared to current policy projections. This implies 2030 emission levels of around 53.6 GtCO2e.
  • Mitigation efforts of INDCs are insufficient for keeping global average surface temperatures below 2C. The emissions gap between the INDC scenario and the 2C scenario is around 11.6 GtCO2e in 2030. This implies post-2030 annual emission reduction rates of between 4 and 6 pct.
  • INDCs postpone the depletion of the global carbon budget by around 5 years. INDCs exhaust the carbon budget by 2047.   
  • Including surplus emission allowances, hot air, will increase the global gap in 2030 by around 1.4 GtCO2e.
  • Differences in accounting rules for emissions and removals from Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) can increase the 2030 gap by around 0.8 to 3.6 GtCO2e.

Graph from analysis
Last updated on 8 December 2015.

For information on methodology and key assumptions we refer to the analysis documentation:

DEA emissions gap 2030

The COP21 update

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