Emissions: four times the work or one-third of the time to comply with the Paris Agreement

New synthesis shows what a wasted decade means for the climate pact made in Paris. New research  shows that nations must now do much more and much faster to limit global warming to well below 2 °C, let alone 1.5 °C, as agreed in Paris.

A decade of insufficient political action on climate change means that nations must now do four times the work — or do the same in one-third of the time — to comply with the climate pact they made in Paris, argue Niklas Höhne and colleagues of different institutes, including Michel den Elzen (PBL) in a Comment piece in this week’s Nature. The authors’ conclusions are based on a synthesis of all ten editions of the Emissions Gap Report produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Each year for the past ten years, this report has examined the difference (the ‘gap’) between what countries have pledged to do individually to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and what they need to do collectively to meet agreed temperature goals. Read more