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UNEP Launches Report on Bridging the Emissions Gap

Photo courtesy of UNEP23 November 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a report titled “Bridging the Emissions Gap,” in advance of the Durban Climate Change Conference. The report indicates that cutting emissions by 2020 to a level that could keep global temperature rise under 2ºC is technologically and economically feasible.

The emissions gap has been revised since the assessment carried out in 2010, as a result of improved modelling and is now estimated to be six Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e), as opposed to five GtCO2e. Commenting on the report, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the report stresses that much remains to be done "both in terms of ambition and policy," but also that closing the gap is feasible. He added that the report brings a "message of hope and an important call to action."

The report concludes that policymakers could narrow or close the emissions gap in 2020 by: agreeing to implement their more ambitious emissions reduction pledges with stricter rules for compliance; deciding to target their energy systems, increasing their use of non-fossil fuel and renewable energy sources, and making significant improvements in energy efficiency; and putting in place strong, long-term, sector-specific polices to achieve the full emissions potential of the different economic sectors. [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Bridging the Emissions Gap]