Emissions Gap Report 2022 Shows Countries’ Pledges Inadequate

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Climate adaptation Emissions Gap Report 2022

UNEP’s 13th edition of the annual Emissions Gap Report shows that since COP26 in Glasgow last year, the countries’ updated national pledges (NDCs) made a “negligible difference” – less than 1% of projected emissions by 2030.

According to the 2022 Emissions Gap report, progress from the countries’ climate pledges and promises has been slow. It finds that only 0.5 billion tonnes have been removed from last year’s 17 billion to 20 billion gaps in carbon emissions to give us a chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C in 2030.

“Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window – Climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies” finds that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. 

Current policies put us at global warming of 2.8°C by 2100, and the implementation of the current pledges will only reduce this to a 2.4 to 2.6°C temperature rise by the end of the century for conditional and unconditional pledges.

Conditional pledges refer to emissions reduction actions, especially from developing countries, that they are willing to undertake if international finance or means of support are met.

For the world to be on track with the Paris Agreement of limiting warming to 1.5°C, a 45% reduction in global annual emissions is required in just eight years, and emissions must go down rapidly after 2030 to keep below the remaining atmospheric carbon budget or amount of GHG emissions to keep warming below Paris goals.   

A warming of 2.4-2.6°C by the end of the century due to countries’ failure to cut emissions will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, which have already led to catastrophes.

Even the current 1.1°C average warmings has devastated economies worldwide from record wildfires, extreme heat and droughts, stronger typhoons, heavy rainfall, and floods.  

Meeting the Paris Agreement goal will mean that the world must reduce greenhouse gases by unprecedented levels over the next eight years.

“Is it a tall order to transform our systems in just eight years? Yes. Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions by so much in that timeframe? Perhaps not. But we must try. Every fraction of a degree matters: to vulnerable communities, to species and ecosystems, and every one of us,” says Inger Anderson, Executive Director of the UNEP.

Doing this will require an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disasters. The report finds that the transformation to net-zero GHG emissions in the electricity supply, industry, transport and buildings sectors is underway but needs to move faster. The building sector would need to deploy zero-emissions technology rapidly.

Food systems, which account for a third of GHG emissions, will also need to deliver rapid and lasting emissions cuts. These include the protection of natural ecosystems, demand-side dietary changes, improvements in food production at the farm level and decarbonisation of food supply chains.

CAP’s article” NZ Govt Proposes Agriculture Levy as a Climate Change Measure” mentions that New Zealand, one of the world’s largest exporters of dairy and meat products, has announced a world’s first plan to tax agricultural emissions that includes livestock burps and waste, as an attempt to transition to a low emissions future and to keep its promise made to prices agriculture emissions from 2025.

The announcement is met with protests from dairy farmers across the country. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern argued that the tax is needed to slow global warming and could even benefit farmers if climate-friendly meat can fetch higher prices.  

The Emissions GAP 2022 report recommends six approaches to financial sector reform, which must be carried out simultaneously:

  • Make financial markets more efficient, including through taxonomies and transparency.
  • Introduce carbon pricing, such as taxes or cap-and-trade systems.
  • Nudge financial behaviour through public policy interventions, taxes, spending and regulations.
  • Create markets for low-carbon technology through shifting financial flows, stimulating innovation and helping to set standards.
  • Mobilise central banks: central banks are increasingly interested in addressing the climate crisis, but more concrete action on regulations is needed.
  • Set up climate “clubs” of cooperating countries, cross-border finance initiatives and just transformation partnerships, which can alter policy norms and change the course of finance through credible financial commitment devices, such as sovereign guarantees.

To read the full report, click on this link → Emissions Gap Report 2022.

Watch the video below for additional information.

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