UNEP Collaborates on Report on Copenhagen Accord Targets

25 March 2010: The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), has released a report titled “What do the Appendices to the Copenhagen Accord tell us about global greenhouse gas emissions and the prospects for avoiding a rise in global average temperature of more than 2°C?”

Authored by Nicholas Stern and Christopher Taylor, the analysis outlined in the report suggests that, although the targets and intended actions included in the Copenhagen Accord are substantial, they would not be enough to limit annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 44 billion tons in 2020, which they label the "climate responsible target." The pledges would collectively imply global annual emissions of about 48.2 to 49.2 billion tons, representing a reduction of 6.7 to 7.7 billion tons compared with the associated ‘business as usual' forecast for emissions in 2020 of 55.9 billion tons. However, the report notes that the two degrees Celsius goal could potentially still be achieved if greater and costly annual reductions of at least 4% per year were achieved for the decades after 2020.

Commenting on the conclusions of the report, Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, said that “two stark and sobering facts” were underlined: “nations need to raise their ambition in terms of emission reductions, but also to make good on their pledges of financial support.” [UNEP Press Release] [The Report]