UNEP Gap reports
2010 Emissions Gap Report
The Climate Action Tracker were co-authors of the UNEP “The Emissions Gap Report – Are the Copenhagen Pledges Sufficient to Limit Global Warming to 2°C or 1.5°C?”. We contributed data for the report, which was released in Cancun, December 2010.
It estimated a gap of 5-9 GtCO2eq a year, assuming a 2020 2°C-consistent level of 44 GtCO2eq a year (rather than a range of 39-44 assessed in that report). The UNEP Gap Report assessed whether the pledges countries made under the Copenhagen Accord are sufficient to achieve the Accord’s temperature targets, or whether the pledges will result in a gap between the 2020 emissions levels - and the levels needed to hold temperature increase below 2°C and return below 1.5oC.
The latter levels are derived from pathways that limit global temperature increase to below 2 or that return to 1.5°C by 2100. The emission levels in 2020 expected from the pledges are based on the analysis results of thirteen independent international modeling groups. The 2010 UNEP Gap Report quantified the emissions gaps for four policy cases, each with their respective gap estimate:
- unconditional pledges – lenient rules: 9 GtCO2e gap (range 8 to 18 GtCO2e)
- unconditional pledges – strict rules: 8 GtCO2e gap (range 6 to 16 GtCO2e)
- conditional pledges – lenient rules: 7 GtCO2e gap (range 5 to 14 GtCO2e)
- conditional pledges – strict rules: 5 GtCO2e gap (range 3 to 12 GtCO2e)
The Climate Action Tracker assessments of the state of the negotiations are comparable to the “unconditional pledges – lenient rules” case of the UNEP Gap Report. The Climate Action Tracker estimated at that time an emissions gap of 10 GtCO2e in 2020 and finds itself close to median and within the 8 to 18 GtCO2e range of the UNEP Gap Report.
2011 Bridging the Emissions Gap report
In December 2011, UNEP presented its “Bridging the Emissions Gap” report, that was again prepared with the significant involvement of experts from the Climate Action Tracker team.
The Climate Action Tracker estimated at that time an emissions gap of 12 GtCO2e in 2020 and found itself close to median and within the 7 to 16 GtCO2e range of the UNEP Gap Report for the equivalent case (unconditional pledges, lenient rules).
2012 The Emissions Gap Report
The UNEP "The Emissions Gap Report 2012” was launched in November 2012. Also this year, experts from the Climate Action Tracker team served either as lead or contributing authors to various chapters of the report.
The Climate Action Tracker currently estimates an emissions gap of 11 GtCO2e in 2020. This estimate is well in the range of estimates of the unconditional pledges, lenient rules case of the UNEP Gap Report (9-16 GtCO2e), and slightly below the median. The Climate Action Tracker currently does not factors in the deteriorating effect of double counting of CDM credits. Therefore the Climate Action Tracker's gap estimate remains at the lower end of the range.