Source UN Environment Program (UNEP)

The commitments countries pledged to limit the climate crisis are nowhere near enough to stave off record-high temperatures. Delaying change any further will make it impossible to reach desired temperature goals. The time for "rapid and transformational" change to limit global warming is now. Current measures will not keep global temperature increases within the 1.5-to-2-degree Celsius range (a "safe" level to which temperatures can rise and not cause devastation, though 1.5 degrees is preferable)  Greenhouse gases reached a record high in 2018 with no sign of peaking. Carbon dioxide levels reached 407.8 parts per million, a unit used to measure the level of a contaminant in the air. At the current rate, temperatures are expected to rise 3.2 degrees Celsius (5.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. To get Earth back on track to the 1.5-degree goal, countries must multiply their commitment level, or the level at which they pledge to reduce their emissions, five times the current rates outlined in the Paris accords. That means global greenhouse gas emissions must fall at least 7.6% every year to remove 32 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Incremental change is no longer enough to stall off the potentially devastating effects of a changing climate. What the world needs now, is "rapid and transformational action."

  1. GHG emissions continue to rise, despite scientific warnings and political commitments.
  2. G20 members account for 78 per cent of global GHG emissions. Collectively, they are on track to meet their limited 2020 Cancun Pledges, but seven countries are currently not on track to meet 2030 NDC commitments (Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the United States of America ), and for a further three, it is not possible to say Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have not made 2020 pledges .
  3. Although the number of countries announcing net zero GHG emission targets for 2050 is increasing, only a few countries have so far formally submitted long-term strategies to the UNFCCC.
  4. The emissions gap is large. In 2030, annual emissions need to be 15 GtCO2e lower than current unconditional NDCs imply for the 2°C goal, and 32 GtCO2e lower for the 1.5°C goal.
  5. Dramatic strengthening of the NDCs is needed in 2020. Countries must increase their NDC ambitions threefold to achieve the well below 2°C goal and more than fivefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal.
  6. Enhanced action by G20 members will be essential for the global mitigation effort.
  7. Decarbonizing the global economy will require fundamental structural changes, which should be designed to bring multiple co-benefits for humanity and planetary support systems.
  8. Renewables and energy efficiency, in combination with electrification of end uses, are key to a successful energy transition and to driving down energy-related CO2 emissions.
  9. Demand-side material efficiency offers substantial GHG mitigation opportunities that are complementary to those obtained through an energy system transformation.

European Union

  • Adopt an EU regulation to refrain from investment in fossil-fuel infrastructure, including new natural gas pipelines
  • Define a clear endpoint for the EU emissions trading system (ETS) in the form of a cap that must lead to zero emissions
  • Adjust the framework and policies to enable 100 per cent carbon-free electricity supply by between 2040 and 2050
  • Step up efforts to phase out coal-fired plants
  • Define a strategy for zero-emission industrial processes
  • Reform the EU ETS to more effectively reduce emissions in industrial applications
  • Ban the sale of internal combustion engine cars and buses and/or set targets to move towards 100 per cent of new car and bus sales being zero-carbon vehicles in the coming decades
  • Shift towards increased use of public transport in line with the most ambitious Member States
  • Increase the renovation rate for intensive retrofits of existing buildings

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