UNEP Emissions Gap Report says green recovery is vital to close climate gap

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released its annual emissions gap report on December 9, which finds that a green recovery is essential to close the climate action gap, and could put emissions in 2030 at 44 GtCO2e – within the range of emissions that give a 66 per cent chance of holding temperatures to below 2°C.

Green recovery measures can cut up to 25 per cent off the emissions we would expect to see in 2030 based on policies in place before the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing emissions to levels broadly consistent with the 2°C goal, according to the authors.

By combining a green pandemic recovery with swift moves to include new net-zero commitments in the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, and following up with rapid, stronger action, governments could still attain the more ambitious 1.5°C goal.

A growing number of countries are committing to net-zero, with 126 countries covering 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions announcing they were considering net-zero goals.

But concrete action on a green fiscal recovery has been limited, with only around a quarter of G20 countries dedicating shares of their spending to low-carbon measures.

The report also finds that despite the temporary drop in emissions during lockdown of up to 7%, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century. The year 2020 is on track to be one of the warmest on record, with wildfires, droughts, storms and glacier melt intensifying.


Go to the press release.