28 August 2015 – The purpose of this brief is to provide an update on the assessment of mitigation effects of those Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The context for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report 2015 is the large national and international effort being undertaken as part of the preparations for the climate conference (COP 21) in Paris in December 2015. UNEP has engaged a regionally balanced INDC Assessment Team of experts to assess the INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC.
The expert team has prepared a preliminary assessment of INDCs for 38 of the 59 submissions; these countries cover 60 per cent of current global GHG emissions, excluding those from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). This assessment aims at providing the best available scientific information about anticipated global emissions by 2025 and 2030, comparing the aggregated emissions resulting from INDCs with scenarios that are consistent with limiting temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
This assessment shows that these INDCs are projected to contribute 4-8 gigatonnes of GHG reductions by 2030, compared to what would be the global emissions expected in 2030 should current policies continue.
Despite this positive contribution, the assessment shows that global emissions in 2030 will most likely be approximately 14 gigatonnes above the 2030 emission level that would be consistent with keeping the international community on track to meet the 2°C target.
Although INDCs from countries still to be submitted are expected to reduce this gap further, there will nonetheless be a significant gap between the political 2 °C ambition and current intended contributions.
It is important to underline that the INDCs are not only about mitigation efforts; many countries address both mitigation and adaptation priorities. It is encouraging to see the significant political momentum the INDC process has generated in many countries. Some countries have taken a broad development approach and considered climate action in the context of the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. In this way, they are setting directions for a broader national green economy transition.
The UNEP Emissions Gap Report, which will be launched early November, will provide an updated assessment of all INDCs submitted by October 1. The report will, in addition, provide analyses of the potential for enhancing mitigation ambitions in a number of high-potential areas. This year’s focus is on scaling-up good practice experiences in a number of key sectors, a more-detailed examination of initiatives by non-state actors and forest-related mitigation opportunities.
The INDC Assessment Team uses a transparent and multidisciplinary approach, building on previous and ongoing national and international assessment work. The results are based on an assessment of available findings from research groups that have analyzed INDCs and estimated national, regional and global emissions. Information about the current submissions to UNFCCC can be found at: http://uneplive.unep.org/theme/index/13#indcs