UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2013 Presented in Warsaw
13 November 2013: Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation, facilitated a side event at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference that focused on the launch of UNEP's 'Emissions Gap Report 2013' and options for closing the emissions gap together with the role of pledges in climate negotiations.
Joseph Alcamo, UNEP, presented key report findings, which focus on achieving the Copenhagen target of no more than a 2°C average warming for the planet over the pre-industrial average, by bridging the gap between pledges and what is required to achieve the 2°C goal. He commented that there is still a gap of 8-12 GHGe Gt/year projected in 2020. He stressed that delays will have severe consequences and discussed ways to move from least to most ambitious pledges and expand their scope.
Michel den Elzen, Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL), the Netherlands, stated that the gap is more likely to be at the higher end of range as: it is based on agreed rules; it becomes unlikely that conditions attached to the conditional pledges will be met; and some countries are not on track to meet their pledges.
Options and ideas presented by panelists included: exploring energy efficiency, fossil fuel subsidy reform, methane and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), as well as renewable energy; addressing agriculture, recognizing that a 60-70% increase in food production will be needed to feed a growing population while simultaneously limiting related emissions; adopting strict accounting rules and encouraging more ambitious pledges; and calling for more political will and recognizing that decisions are not only about climate change but also about democracy. [IISD RS coverage of side event][Climate Change Policy & Practice news post on release of Emissions Gap Report 2013]