UN Environment Programme’s Emission Gap Report, published today, finds that collective ambition must increase more than fivefold over current levels to deliver the cuts needed over the next decade to achieve the 1.5°C goal. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that going beyond 1.5°C will increase the frequency and intensity of climate impacts, such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed across the globe in the last few years. In the report, UNEP said the world must deliver deep cuts to emissions – over 7 per cent each year for the next decade.

Each year, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launches the Emissions Gap Report to assess the gap between anticipated emissions in 2030 and levels consistent with the 1.5 °C and 2 °C targets of the Paris Agreement. This year, the Emissions Gap report 2019 warns that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6% per year during the next decade, the world will miss the opportunity to reach the 1.5 °C temperature goal.

The report presents different climate scenarios, from no climate policies to full implementation of climate policies on all national commitments agreed during the Paris Agreement. For any major change to occur, rapid societal and economic transformations need to take place in the next decade to compensate for the lack of action in the past. The annual report also features ways of bridging the emissions gap. This year, the report specifically focused on different means of energy transitions particularly in the power, transport and building sector. Renewables and energy efficiency are key for an energy transition for instance, electrification of heating in the building sector could reduce CO2 emissions by 72% by 2050.

Despite the alarming findings, climate change can still be limited to 1.5 °C, the report says, but doing so will require strong commitment strategies and efforts from every nation. There is increased understanding of the additional benefits of climate action – such as clean air and a boost to the Sustainable Development Goals. There are many ambitious efforts from governments, cities, businesses and investors. Solutions, and the pressure and will to implement them, are abundant.

Read the full Emissions Gap Report here.

View a short video here.