UNFCCC, ECF Hold COP 18 Side Event on the Emissions Gap

4 December 2012: The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat and the European Climate Foundation (ECF) jointly event held on the sidelines of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC in Doha, Qatar, which stressed the need to urgently address the emissions gap and scale up local actions through the international climate process.

The event, titled “The Emissions Gap, Its Implications and Policy Solutions,” focused on key messages and national responses to “The Emissions Gap Report 2012” of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which was released in November 2012.

The session was moderated by Halldor Thorgeirsson, UNFCCC Secretariat, and Bert Metz, ECF. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner stated that current commitments are insufficient to limit temperature increase to 2°C, and called for scaling up transformational change that is taking place at local levels. Joseph Alcamo, UNEP, outlined opportunities to close the emissions gap by 2020.

Representatives from the Gambia, Denmark, Germany, Kenya and South Africa called for more rapid action, noting the seriousness of the current gap, and the impacts of climate change on developing countries.

In discussions, participants at the event addressed the green economy as a complementary issue, the implications of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and biomass in relation to environmental integrity, potential energy mix targets, and inclusion of climate actions in national financial budgets. [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event] [European Climate Foundation Website]