UNEP 5th Emissions Gap Report
November 21, 2014  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured  //  No Comment

On November 19th, 2014, the UN held a press conference for two important events: the launch of the fifth UNEP Emissions Gap Report and the announcement of this year’s Champions of the Earth laureates.

The fifth Emissions Gap Report launch was headed by Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, Senator Tim Wirth, Vice Chair of the UN Foundation, Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, and Joseph Alcamo, UNEP Chief Science Editor.

The Emissions Gap Report series is a synthesis document of the peer-reviewed literature on climate change mitigation scenarios. This year’s report differed from earlier reports in that it focuses on the ‘global carbon emissions budget’. Building off of the information in the latest IPCC report, this year’s Emissions Gap Report gives information on how much carbon countries can emit into the atmosphere while preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees celsius. This is an important addition to the report series because governments can use those numbers to help steer their own national emissions policies.

Two important conclusions in the report are that global carbon emissions need to reach net zero sometime between 2055 and 2070, and that total greenhouse gas emissions need to reach net zero between 2080 and 2100. These figures will likely be important issues at the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, 2015.

To read the executive summary, click here.

The Champions of the Earth event is covered in this blog post.

About the Author :

Michael Denney is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a Research Associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability.

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