The 2019 edition of the Emissions Gap Report presents the latest data on the emissions reductions needed for achieving the temperature reductions targets of the Paris Agreement by 2030.

As the world strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change, it is crucial to track progress towards globally agreed climate goals. For a decade, UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report has compared where greenhouse gas emissions are heading against where they need to be and highlighted the best ways to close the gap.

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.

Presented during a press conference in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, the 10th edition of the report outlines the need for global greenhouse gas emissions to fall by 7.6% per year for the next 10 years to keep on track with the 1.5 degree Paris goal. This is despite current emission levels still going up by an average of 1.5% a year over the last decade.

Every year, the report features ways to bridge the gap. This year, the report looks at the potential of the energy transition – particularly in the power, transport and buildings sectors – and efficiency in the use of materials such as iron steel and cement.

High-level speakers attending the press conference in the Swiss capital, included; Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), John Christensen, Director, UNEP-Danish Technology Institute Partnership, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Abdalah Mokssit, Secretary, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Katia Simeonova, Manager, Mitigation and Data Analysis Programme (MDA), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Mr Christensen, presented the main findings of the report, saying, “Incremental change is not enough. We need transformational change in our societies to achieve the level of emissions reduction needed to keep global temperature rise below agreed limits. Transforming power systems will be key to decarbonization as well as a greater focus on material efficiency.”

Commenting on the urgent need to act on the findings of the report, Ms Andersen emphasized the importance of engaging all sectors of the economy, including the private sector, as well as deploying nature-based solutions to aid in humanities transition to a green economy and to “leave no one behind” by ensuring we do so in a just and fair way.

Related links

Emissions Gap Report 2019


Image: UNEP

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