This Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme (CMEP) report card provides a summary of climate change impacts on coasts and seas in the Pacific island region, and how Pacific islands can respond.
Japan stands at a crossroads ahead of its Presidency of the G20 in 2019. Its potential role as a leader of climate ambition and clean technology depends on it making the right decisions to establish a sunset for coal power generation. This shift must include both its domestic energy policy and its finance for coal technology overseas – a joint briefing by E3G and Climate Analytics.
This Perspective in the journal Nature shows that trajectories towards a ‘1.5 °C warmer world’ may result in vastly different outcomes at regional scales, owing to variations in the pace and location of climate change and their interactions with society’s mitigation, adaptation and vulnerabilities to climate change.
This report evaluates whether Japan’s energy policies and long-term targets are compatible with meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and what this means for policymaking and investors.
Decarbonising the transport sector, which accounted for 28% of global CO2 emissions in 2014,1 is crucial for the transition to a low-carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement. Despite its significant contribution to global warming, the road freight transport sector is often neglected in government policies, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s latest memo in its decarbonisation series.
The Climate Action Tracker has updated assessments of 23 of the 32 countries whose development on climate action it tracks. While some progress has been made since November, most governments’ policies are still not on track towards meeting their Paris Agreement commitments, many of which are in themselves far from sufficient to keep warming to the agreed 1.5˚C warming limit. The Climate Action Tracker's assessments point to an urgent need for governments to scale up both their policies and targets to bring them more in line with a pathway to limiting warming to 1.5˚C.
Most countries need to urgently update their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be in line with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. But even without considering the much-needed emission reductions this entails, rapid technology developments in key sectors over recent years make it an economic and political necessity to update NDCs as their underlying assumptions are outdated already today. This is good news for the Talanoa Dialogue as these cost reductions and already visible climate action can be the springboard for more ambitious NDCs in 2020.
This article investigates the sensitivity of future crop yield projections with a set of global gridded crop models for four major staple crops at 1.5 °C and 2 °C warming above pre-industrial levels, as well as at different CO2 levels determined by similar probabilities to lead to 1.5 °C and 2 °C.
Small island developing states (SIDS) face multiple threats from anthropogenic climate change, including potential changes in freshwater resource availability. This article presents projections of future changes in aridity on small islands and evaluates overall changes in freshwater stress in SIDS at warming levels of 1.5 and 2 °C above pre-industrial level.
International climate policy uses global mean temperature rise limits as proxies for societally acceptable levels of climate change. These limits are informed by risk assessments which draw upon projections of climate impacts under various levels of warming. This article illustrates that indicators used to define limits of warming and those used to track the evolution of the Earth System under climate change are not directly comparable.
To support implementation of the Paris Agreement, the new HAPPI ensemble of 20 bias-corrected simulations of four climate models was used to drive two global hydrological models in worlds approximately 1.5 °C and 2 °C warmer than pre-industrial. Seven hydrological hazard indicators were analysed characterizing freshwater-related hazards for humans, freshwater biota and vegetation. The findings show that areas with either significantly wetter or drier conditions are smaller in the 1.5 °C world for all but one indicator. The incremental impact between 1.5 °C and 2 °C on high flows would be felt most by low income and lower middle income countries, the effect on soil moisture and low flows most by high income countries.
Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change that occur despite adaptation and mitigation efforts. This brief provides a background on loss and damage, its importance for the Caribbean, tools and methodologies to determine costs of loss and damage, and potential innovative financing mechanisms. The region has seen an increase in the number of recorded weather and climate hazards and resultant impacts on biophysical and human systems. As global temperatures continue to increase, Caribbean SIDS face significant levels of both economic and non-economic loss and damage.
The Climate Action Tracker's input into the Talanoa Dialogue takes a look at the gap between the current level of climate action and the emissions reductions needed to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and outlines concrete short-term steps all key sectors - like power, industry, transport or agriculture - could undertake to get onto a 1.5°C pathway.
Climate Analytics’ submission to the Talanoa Dialogue summarises the latest scientific findings relating to the 1.5°C limit. It outlines what climate impacts are being experienced around the globe at the current level of warming of around 1°C, such as extreme weather events, more intense tropical cyclones, impacts on oceans systems and health. It also discusses the benefits of the 1.5°C limit in terms of avoided impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities, and what is needed to limit warming to 1.5°C.
This article investigates projected changes in temperature and water cycle extremes at 1.5°C of global warming, and highlights the role of land processes and land-use changes (LUCs) for these projections. It is is part of the theme issue ‘The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'.
The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) has developed novel methods for Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments (CGRA) of agriculture and food security in a changing world. The present study aims to perform a proof of concept of the CGRA to demonstrate advantages and challenges of the proposed framework. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'.
Caribbean SIDS are among the most heavily indebted per capita developing countries in the world and are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Public debt significantly restricts capacity and fiscal space to build resilience to climate change and thus undermines debt sustainability and economic growth. Caribbean SIDS are tasked with addressing low and stagnated growth, high public debt and vulnerabilities to climate change impacts. This briefing looks at how debt for climate swaps may provide an avenue for SIDS to address debt challenges while also increasing resilience to climate change.
As people around the world switch off their lights for “Earth Hour” this weekend, a new analysis shows the world could make huge reductions in global warming by simply adopting the highest existing energy related standards for lighting and appliances. This can be achieved at net zero costs for consumers and with substantial co-benefits to health.
Implications of exploiting Canning Basin and other unconventional gas resources for achieving climate targets
This article presents projections for changes in tropical rainy season lengths for levels of global mean temperature increase of 1.5°C and 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
This study considers the impact on crop yields and yield variability in regions currently challenged by food insecurity. It assesses impacts of 1.5 °C versus 2.0 °C on yields of maize, pearl millet and sorghum in the West African Sudan Savanna using two crop models that were calibrated with common varieties from experiments in the region with management reflecting a range of typical sowing windows.
Sea-level rise is a major consequence of climate change that will continue long after emissions of greenhouse gases have stopped. The 2015 Paris Agreement aims at reducing climate-related risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and limiting global-mean temperature increase. This study quantifies the effect of these constraints on global sea-level rise until 2300, including Antarctic ice-sheet instabilities.
This Climate Action Tracker briefing is part of its decarbonisation series. It looks at options for mitigating non-CO2 emissions from agriculture from two angles: key areas “on the field,” and trends in consumer behaviour. It addresses three main areas of action: changing farming practices, reducing food waste, and changing diets.
Limiting global warming to 1.5 or 2.0°C requires strong mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Concurrently, emissions of anthropogenic aerosols will decline, due to coemission with GHG, and measures to improve air quality. However, the combined climate effect of GHG and aerosol emissions over the industrial era is poorly constrained. This study shows the climate impacts from removing present-day anthropogenic aerosol emissions and compares them to the impacts from moderate GHG-dominated global warming.
This article identifies and quantifies the 10 most important benchmarks for climate action to be taken by 2020–2025 to keep the window open for a 1.5°C-consistent GHG emission pathway. We conducted a comprehensive review of existing emissions scenarios, scanned all sectors and the respective necessary transitions, and distilled the most important short-term benchmarks for action in line with the long-term perspective of the required global low-carbon transition. Owing to the limited carbon budget, combined with the inertia of existing systems, global energy economic models find only limited pathways to stay on track for a 1.5°C world consistent with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
This research utilises interviews with UNFCCC climate change negotiators for SIDS and analysis of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, to assess the state of loss and damage management in SIDS.
There have been proposals for the UNFCCC to adopt a dual-term greenhouse gas accounting standard: 20-year GWPs alongside the presently accepted 100-year GWPs. It is argued that the advantage of such a change would be to more rapidly reduce short term warming and buy time for CO2 reductions. This briefing shows why these changes would be counterproductive and the benefits overstated.
The use of blue carbon to offset and hence effectively avoid required emission reductions in other sectors such as fossil fuel combustion, industry, agriculture, international aviation and marine activities would undermine our ability to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
This briefing is the annual Climate Action Tracker estimate of global progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, with some positive and negative findings. While there is a significant improvement on climate action globally, despite US rollbacks, President Trump’s announced intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, has led to a significant deterioration in the effect of Paris Agreement commitments (NDCs)—by about 0.3°C.
Ocean systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, and there is already clear evidence for loss and damage inflicted by climate change on ocean systems. This briefing provides an overview of the latest science on key risks for ocean systems including from sea-level rise, ocean acidification and impacts on coral reefs and other marine and coastal ecosystems.
The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.
Following the string of high intensity tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin in 2017 and the devastating impacts on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a number of questions have been raised about linkages between these cyclones and climate change. This briefing provides clarity on scientifically-supported connections between existing tropical cyclones and climate change. The briefing also summarises how climate change may affect tropical cyclones at increased global mean temperatures in the future and provides a summary of the observed socio-economic impacts of these extreme events on SIDS.
This paper incorporates latest findings on Antarctic ice sheet dynamics into new sea level rise modelling, and pairs it with the new generation of scenarios – Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and compares them with outcomes for the previous generation of scenarios - Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), used in the last IPCC Assessment (AR5). It finds that without any mitigation, sea levels could rise by an average of 132 cm in 2100 relative to the 1986-2005 mean.
This memo is part of the Climate Action Tracker’s decarbonisation series, and looks into what measures are needed to decarbonise the heavy industry sector – cement and steel – to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
The adoption of the 1.5°C long-term warming limit in the Paris Agreement made 1.5°C a ‘hot topic’ in the scientific community, with researchers eager to address this issue. Long-term warming limits have a decades-long history in international policy. To effectively inform the climate policy debate, geoscience research hence needs a core understanding of their legal and policy context. This article describes this context in detail, and illustrates its importance by showing the impact it can have on global carbon budget estimates.
This analysis, done at the request of the Chair of Least Developed Countries Group, covers the NDCs of the 47 LDCs through a systematic review of their mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and means of implementation components.
The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) has updated its government climate action rating system to better reflect the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C long term warming limit. This briefing explains the new categories, which help to highlight the adequacy and fairness of government climate commitments for the Paris Agreement.
This article identifies the opportunities for engagement on the topic of non-economic losses from climate change under the existing mechanisms under the UNFCCC.
This briefing describes the equity methodology Climate Analytics uses to assess how governments could share the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This special feature of the journal Regional Environmental Change examines biophysical impacts under different warming scenarios (1, 1.5, 2, and 4 °C warming) and considers scientifically derived development impacts to gain a better understanding of vulnerability to climate change. The main contributions to this special feature are five regional impact papers summarising climate impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Middle East and Northern Africa.
This commentary in journal Nature Climate Change discusses how evidence from the observational climate record provides useful guidance in discriminating the climate impacts of half-degree warming increments, which is high on the science agenda since the adoption of the 1.5°C temperature limit in Paris Agreement.
As part of its decarbonisation series, the Climate Action Tracker looks at the future of natural gas and finds that it is limited, even as a bridging fuel. Continued investments into the sector create the risk of breaching the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal and will result in stranded assets.
This analysis, prepared for the NDC Partnership, looks into the recent developments in terms of NDCs submission and renewables deployment. It outlines the instruments that can be utilised to decrease the gap between current emissions trends and the Paris Agreement compatible emissions pathways.
On June 1, President Trump has announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaning on many dubious claims in support of his decision. Our experts have done a thorough fact check of the speech.
The Finkel Review was an opportunity to propose a science-based approach to the short and long-term development of Australia's electricity sector consistent with the low-carbon transformation required to meet the goals and obligations of the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, should the government accept the minimum electricity sector pathway suggested by the Finkel Review, Australia would very likely not be able to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement, which calls for countries to adopt measures to hold global warming well below 2°C and limit this to 1.5°C.
The Climate Action Tracker briefing on climate action in China, India and the United States.
This discussion paper traces the inclusion of human mobility under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
This Climate Action Tracker report examines the trends driving decarbonisation in three key sectors of the global energy system: power, transportation, and buildings—and looks at what can drive rapid transitions in these areas.
This article provides a review of recent scientific literature on social vulnerability to climate change, aiming to determine which social and demographic groups, across a wide range of geographical locations, are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts within four well-being dimensions: health, safety, food security, and displacement.
This report elaborates a strategy for phasing out coal in the European Union and its member states and provides a science-based shut-down schedule of coal power plants at the individual unit level, in line with the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has accepted the invitation from the UNFCCC to provide a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and on related global greenhouse-gas emission pathways. Many current experiments in, for example, the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP), are not specifically designed for informing this report. This article documents the design of the half a degree additional warming, projections, prognosis and impacts (HAPPI) experiment. HAPPI provides a framework for the generation of climate data describing how the climate, and in particular extreme weather, might differ from the present day in worlds that are 1.5 and 2.0 °C warmer than pre-industrial conditions.
The Paris Agreement long-term global temperature goal refers to two global warming levels: well below 2°C and 1.5°C above preindustrial. Regional climate signals at specific global warming levels, and especially the differences between 1.5°C and 2°C, are not well constrained, however. In particular, methodological challenges related to the assessment of such differences have received limited attention. This article reviews alternative approaches for identifying regional climate signals associated with global temperature limits, and evaluates the extent to which they constitute a sound basis for impacts analysis.
This United Nations Development Programme report, commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, focuses on the benefits and opportunities of limiting warming to 1.5°C, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement, in terms of economic growth, employment, avoided climate impacts, energy security, access and imports and health.
This Climate Action Tracker report spells out ten important, short-term steps that key sectors - including energy generation, road transport, buildings, industry, forestry and land use, and commercial agriculture - need to take to help the world achieve the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
This report looks into the implications of the Paris Agreement for coal fired electric generation. It shows that the Paris Agreement 1.5°C temperature limit requires a quick phase-out of coal used for electric power generation.
This briefing outlines why it is misleading to conflate negative emissions technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere with proposed geoengineering techniques, such as Solar Radiation Management (SRM).
The purpose of this briefing is to provide clarity on how long term temperature limits are to be understood in the context of short term natural variability.
This Climate Action Tracker briefing, second in its decarbonisation series, looks at how emissions from the building sector can be reduced to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s warming limit.
This report, commissioned by the Climate Institute in Australia, examines the impacts on Australia of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C and 2°C, and to provide estimates of the global carbon budgets associated with achieving these temperature limits.
Ethnic divides play a major role in many armed conflicts around the world and might serve as predetermined conflict lines following rapidly emerging societal tensions arising from disruptive events like natural disasters. We find evidence in global datasets that risk of armed-conflict outbreak is enhanced by climate-related disaster occurrence in ethnically fractionalized countries. Although we find no indications that environmental disasters directly trigger armed conflicts, our results imply that disasters might act as a threat multiplier in several of the world’s most conflict-prone regions.
A new analysis of the scientific and policy aspects of the 1.5°C temperature limit in the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal has identified a number of important areas that require more scientific research. The analysis, written by a team of scientists who have published key research papers on the science, impacts and policy aspects of the 1.5˚C limit, is a centrepiece of a collection by Nature Climate Change, Nature Geoscience and Nature on 'Targeting 1.5°C'
The Green Climate Fund Board met for the 13th time 28-30 June 2016 in Songdo, Republic of Korea. This report outlines the key messages for policymakers from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
This report commissioned by a Finnish public fund Sitra looks at the implications of the Paris Agreement on energy and climate policy in Finland and the European Union. The report is in English and contains a summary in Finnish.
The latest in UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report series looks at the difference between adaptation costs in developing countries and funds currently available - the 'adaptation finance gap'. The report identifies trends and highlights challenges associated with measuring progress towards fulfilling the adaptation finance gap, while informing national and international efforts to advance adaptation. It analyses the ‘adaptation finance gap’ against the background of the provisions laid out in the Paris Agreement, and benefits from the insights included in the INDCs.
This article is a first comprehensive assessment of key climate impacts for the policy relevant warming levels of 1.5 °C and 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. It finds substantial impact differences in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, regional water availability and agricultural yields, sea-level rise and risk of coral reef loss. The increase in climate impacts is particularly pronounced in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
This report, commissioned by the Wilderness Society, looks at BP's the new planned oil venture in the Great Australian Bight in the light of Australia's climate commitments under the new international climate agreement.
During its 12th meeting, the Green Climate Fund Board adopted a new Strategic Plan for the fund. This report contains an overview of key decisions, summary of the meeting outcomes and a summary for policy makers in Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
Following adoption of the Paris Agreement, a number of questions have been raised related to signature, ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, some practical, some strategic. This briefing looks at issues that relate to the possibility of early entry into force, the status of Party INDCs both pre-ratification and post-ratification, protection of the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree temperature limitation goal, and the implications of decision 1/CP.21 on the Paris Agreement's treatment of loss and damage.
A report on the outcomes of the second meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM), which took place in February 2016.
The concept of non-economic loss and damage (NELD) captures the impacts of climate change that are hard to quantify and often go unnoticed by the outside world, such as the loss of traditional ways of living, cultural heritage and biodiversity. It also encapsulates losses whose valuation raises ethical concerns – loss of life and human health. This discussion paper offers a clarification of the concept and analyses the challenges in addressing NELD.
Accepted estimates of how much carbon we can still burn by the end of this century and keep temperature rise to below 2°C range from 590 to 2390 billion tons of carbon dioxide. The high end of this estimate does not take into account warming by non-CO2 emissions and was never intended to be used to address a real-world policy question. Consequently, this study finds that the most appropriate carbon budget estimate for keeping warming to below 2°C is in the range of 590-1240 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
Non-economic loss and damage (NELD) has emerged as a new concept in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It refers to the negative impacts of climate change that are difficult to measure or quantify. The value of NELD cannot easily be expressed in monetary terms, which has left them mostly neglected in climate-risk and cost estimates. This briefing paper looks at the definitions, challenges and policy implication of NELD.
This paper reviews the current knowledge of climatic risks and impacts in South Asia associated with anthropogenic warming levels of 1.5–4 °C above pre-industrial values in the twenty-first century. It is based on the World Bank Report “Turn Down the Heat, Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience."
The repercussions of climate change will be felt in various ways throughout both natural and human systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper analyses the implication of climate change-related temperature increase, heat extremes, changes in precipitation for food and water security, coastal communities, and livelihoods.
This paper synthesizes what is known about the physical and biophysical impacts of climate change and their consequences for societies and development under different levels of global warming in Central Asia. Projections show mean temperatures increasing by up to 6.5 °C compared to pre-industrial level by the end of this century across the region. Climate change could mostly decrease crop yields, challenging food security, but in more northern regions there could also be positive effects. Studies on climate change impacts on energy systems are scarce and yield conflicting results, but the more regional study shows decreasing prospects for hydropower.
Short summary of the 10 key messages from the final report of the Structured Expert Dialogue
The term ‘climate neutrality’ is currently resonating in the climate policy arena and is included in the collective mitigation goal (Article 3.1) of the draft Paris Agreement. A close look at this relatively new and scientifically ill defined term and its potential implications reveals a fundamental risk that this term will be used to undermine efforts to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and be used to introduce dangerous geo-engineering approaches into the climate regime.
The Climate Action Tracker’s final assessment of 158 the climate pledges (INDCs) submitted to the UN by 8 December 2015, accounting for 94% of global emissions, confirming this would result in around 2.7°C of warming in 2100 – if all governments met their pledge.
The Climate Action Tracker’s analysis released during COP21 in Paris finds that if all coal plants in the pipeline were to be built, by 2030, emissions from coal power would be 400% higher than what is consistent with a 2°C pathway. Even with no new construction, in 2030, emissions from coal-fired power generation would still be more than 150% higher than what is consistent with holding warming below 2°C.
Report on decisions at the 11th Board Meeting of the Green Climate Fund, 2-5 November 2015 in Livingstone, Zambia
This paper analyses “fair and adequate” emission reduction ranges for 2025, 2030 and 2050 for Brazil, India and South Africa, largest economies and a set of African countries (part of MAPS - Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios Programme). This analysis provides insight into the key differences between a wide range of effort sharing models, criteria, their proxy metrics and the most important assumptions that influence countries’ emissions allowances under different equity regimes. This analysis provides insight into the key differences between a wide range of effort sharing models, criteria, their proxy metrics and the most important assumptions that influence countries’ emissions allowances under different equity regimes.
This report, commissioned by the Brazilian Environmental Ministry, seeks to determine countries’ historical contribution to climate change.
A new study analyses the differences in impacts the world would face at 1.5°C and 2°C in a comprehensive and comparable way for the first time. It finds that the increases in impacts between 1.5°C and 2°C are large, significant and pronounced for regions with limited adaptive capacity and high exposure.
This document provides briefing points and explains why initial and successive 5 year commitment periods for all Parties are a necessary element of the new agreement to help ensure that the 1.5/2°C goal is met, and how a 10-year commitment period would in fact fail to provide the long-term stability and certainty that Parties seek. It steps through evidence from scientific, economic, regulatory and political perspectives.
This document provides key points on risks to ecosystems, food security and sustainable development associated with 1.5°C warming. It also provides responses to arguments commonly made against 1.5°C and provides the scientific evidene for each point made.
This briefing note outlines the scientific conditions under which warming can be limited to well below 2°C over the 21st century, and return to below 1.5°C by 2100. It provides a scientific overview of the science on some critical mitigation technologies, like bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, and their combination – BECCS. It also contains counter arguments to claims that 1.5°C scenarios undermine food security through including large scale bioenergy deployment. The considerations in this briefing are based on the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5), the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report, the Report of the UNFCCC Structured Expert Dialogue (SED), as well as the recent scientific literature.
The issue of a fair distribution of the burden in the fight against climate change has been the major point of contention since the beginning of the climate negotiations in the 1990s. Although a number of different approaches of effort distribution emerged in the meantime, many of them reflected the interests of the stakeholders developing them. As a result different weight has been given to different aspects, such as historic responsibility, current emission levels or the capability to reduce these emissions. This report presents different approaches to the distribution of the mitigation efforts and compares their results to the contributions that some governments submitted to the UNFCCC ahead of the climate conference in Paris.
Robust appraisals of climate impacts at different levels of global-mean temperature increase are vital to guide assessments of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The 2015 Paris Agreement includes a two-headed temperature goal: “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This paper provides an assessment of key impacts of climate change at warming levels of 1.5°C and 2°C, including extreme weather events, water availability, agricultural yields, sea-level rise and risk of coral reef loss- The results reveal substantial differences in impacts between a 1.5°C and 2°C warming that are highly relevant for the assessment of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This article has been accepted.
The Climate Action Tracker’s assessment of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) submitted to the UNFCCC ahead of the October 1 deadline, which finds that, if these climate plans were to be fully implemented, they would bring the projected warming to 2.7°C – an improvement of 0.4˚C since the last assessment of pledges at the Lima talks in December 2014.
Climate Action Tracker's assessment of the aggregate Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the UNFCCC by 1 September 2015.
On 11 August 2015, Australia submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). The Climate Action Tracker rates Australia’s INDC 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26–28% from 2005 levels including land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) by 2030 as “inadequate.” After accounting for LULUCF, this target is equivalent to a range of around 5% below to 5% above 1990 levels of GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in the year 2030.
Climate Action Tracker’s assessment of New Zealand’s provisional Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), submitted to the UNFCCC on 7 July 2015.
With the signature by the Government of Japan to its contribution agreement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) now almost 60 per cent of the pledges made to the Fund at its first pledging conference in November 2014 are secured through legally binding contribution agreements. Crossing the threshold of 50 per cent of the pledges covered by these agreements gives the GCF Board the authority to start allocating funding to concrete project and programme proposals. This is a major milestone in the evolution of the Fund and successfully completes a four-year design phase that has shaped the operational policies and procedures of the GCF.
The Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) - set up by the UNFCCC and conducted over 2013-2015 - is a process that has reviewed the adequacy of the agreed Long Term Goal (LTGG) of holding warming below 2°C. It has now released a technical summary. This is a synthesis of the key points in that report.
Many impacts projected for a global warming level of 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels may exceed the coping capacities of particularly vulnerable countries. Therefore, many countries advocate limiting warming to below 1.5 °C. This article contains an analysis of integrated energy–economy–environment scenarios that keep warming to below 1.5 °C by 2100. It finds that in such scenarios, energy-system transformations are in many aspects similar to 2 °C-consistent scenarios, but show a faster scale-up of mitigation action in most sectors, leading to observable differences in emission reductions in 2030 and 2050. The move from a 2 °C- to a 1.5 °C-consistent world will be achieved mainly through additional reductions of CO2. This implies an earlier transition to net zero carbon emissions worldwide, to be achieved between 2045 and 2060. Energy efficiency and stringent early reductions are key to retain a possibility for limiting warming to below 1.5 °C by 2100. The window for achieving this goal is small and rapidly closing.
This briefing paper analyses the available information in the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2014 (‘EGR’) and the IPCC AR5 to produce recommended benchmark emission levels for 2020, 2025 and 2030. We evaluate the implications of the data in the 2014 UNEP EGR and the IPCC AR5 for benchmark emission levels that can be used to assess whether the aggregate level of pledges put forward for 2025 and 2030 - in the context of the ADP negotiations - are consistent with limiting warming below 2°C, and with limiting warming below a 1.5°C increase above preindustrial. We also review the outcome of the 2014 UNEP EGR in relation to the emissions gap for 2020, 2025, and 2030. Results are put in the context of the 2013 UNEP EGR and of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and differences explained.
While the GCF is getting ready to disburse resources, it still awaits authorisation to start committing its resources to specific projects: According to the Fund’s contribution policies, this commitment authority is triggered when contributors realise their pledges through signing official legally binding contribution agreements for 50 percent (USD 4.7 billion) of the total pledges made to the GCF. The following briefing note provides an update on the status of contribution agreements signed by contributor countries as of 30 April 2015 - the Fund's initial deadline to reach the 50 percent threshold.
The GCF Board achieves groundbreaking accreditation decision but misses opportunity to start work on investment strategy. Analysis of the outcomes of the 9th GCF Board meeting in Songdo, South Korea.
This Climate Action Tracker Update describes a new method to assess “comparable efforts” and the “fair share” of governments’ national greenhouse gas reduction proposals. Such a comparison is essential for the successful completion of an agreement on climate change in Paris in December this year, as some governments have made their offers conditional on comparable action by others.
In this short report, we aim to outline the implications of different effort-sharing criteria and metrics on emission reduction efforts for South Africa in the post-2015 agreement.
Produced in collaboration with the African Climate Finance Hub, the report says deep global emissions reductions are the best way to head off Africa’s crippling adaptation costs. It also finds that the continent’s domestic resources are insufficient to respond to projected impacts, but would be important to complement international funding for African countries – including meeting the Cancun climate finance commitments by 2020. The report also explores the extent to which African nations can contribute to closing the adaptation gap – especially in the area of identifying the resources that will be needed.
Recently, assessments have robustly linked stabilization of global-mean temperature rise to the necessity of limiting the total amount of emitted carbon-dioxide (CO2). Halting global warming thus requires virtually zero annual CO2 emissions at some point. Policymakers have now incorporated this concept in the negotiating text for a new global climate agreement, but confusion remains about concepts like carbon neutrality, climate neutrality, full decarbonization, and net zero carbon or net zero greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions. This article clarifies these concepts, discusses their appropriateness to serve as a long-term global benchmark for achieving temperature targets, and provides a detailed quantification.
Switzerland is the first government to formally submit an INDC to the UNFCCC. It aims at halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, with at least a 30% reduction by 2030 domestically.
The European Commission has made a proposal that specifies its “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to the new international agreement on climate change.
This briefing note outlines suggested time frames for reaching zero global CO2 and total greenhouse gas emissions for the ‘below 2 °C’ and ‘below 1.5 °C by 2100’ limits based on the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5) and the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report.
Recommended numbers for reflecting the 2°C and 1.5°C long term global emission goals within the ADP text agreement, based on reviews of the latest science, including IPCC AR5 and the 2014 UNEP Emissions Gap Report.
This paper synthesizes what is known about the physical and biophysical impacts of climate change and their consequences for societies and development under different levels of global warming in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Projections show increasing mean temperatures by up to 4.5 °C compared to pre-industrial by the end of this century across LAC. This paper concludes that LAC will be severely affected by climate change, even under lower levels of warming, due to the potential for impacts to occur simultaneously and compound one another. This article has been accepted.
Riahi, K., Kriegler, E., Johnson, N., Bertram, C., den Elzen, M., Eom, J., Schaeffer, M., Edmonds, J., Isaac, M., Krey, V., Longdon, T., Luderer, G., Mejean, A., McCollum, D.L., Mima, S., Turton, H., van Vuuren, D., Wada, K. Bosetti, V., Capros, P., Criqui P. and Kainuma, M.
The first UNEPAdaptation Gap Report serves as a preliminary assessment of global adaptation gaps in finance, technology and knowledge, and lays out a framework for future work on better defining and bridging these gaps.
The Climate Action Tracker's initial assessment of the recent announcements by the United States and China’s new pledges and proposals on emissions reductions for 2025 and 2030, in the context of the present international negotiations for a new climate agreement to be adopted at the end of 2015.
Stopping black carbon will not buy time for global warming, new study shows
The world community has agreed a global warming limit of holding warming below 2°C above preindustrial levels. Small island states and the least developed countries have called for warming to be brought back to below 1.5° by 2100.
Level Pledging Meeting 19–20 November 2014 in Berlin, Germany
UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2014 is the fifth in a series that examines whether the pledges made by countries are on track to meet the internationally agreed under 2°C target. It is produced by 38 leading scientists from 22 research groups across 14 countries.
The Climate Action Tracker has undertaken an initial assessment of the recent announcements by the United States and China’s new pledges and proposals on emissions reductions for 2025 and 2030, in the context of the present international negotiations for a new climate agreement to be adopted at the end of 2015.
Third report in the Turn Down the Heat series assesses climate risks in Latin American and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa and Europe and Central Asia.
Together, China and the US emit about 35% of today’s greenhouse gas emissions. Current global climate change action is insufficient to limit warming below 2°C. By improving action of China and the US to global best practice, these two largest emitters could decrease domestic emissions to a level compatible with 2°C and together close 23% of the 2020 emissions gap. For 2030, this would mean a decrease in emissions below current global policy projections by 10%.
A briefing on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) prepared for Nepal, chair of the Least Developed Countries Group.
This briefing outlines the importance of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report for Nepal in its capacity as the Chair of the Least Developed Country Group under the UNFCCC international climate negotiations, as well as for domestic policymaking.
Victor and Kennel argue that the target of limiting global warming below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels (the “2°C goal,” or rather, “limit”), adopted by the international community, should be dropped.
A rapid phase out of coal as an electricity source by 2050 would reduce warming by half a degree, according to the Climate Action Tracker, in an update released today ahead of the Ban ki-Moon climate summit. The Climate Action Tracker, put together by research organisations Climate Analytics, Ecofys, and the Pik Potsdam Institute, has calculated that under current Government policies, the world is on track to warm by 3.7°C by 2100.
The “Green Paper" foresees a future strong growth in coal use globally over the next several decades arguing that “Most energy analysts confirm that coal will continue to be a major source of global energy for decades to come”. In particular, the Green Paper assumes rapid increases in coal demand from Asian economies and proposes to align Australian government policies to facilitate accelerated approval of developments to support this.
Report approximating “fair and adequate” emission reduction ranges for 2025, 2030, 2040 and 2050 for key countries.
The report, produced for the German environmental protection agency Umweltbundesamt (UBA), evaluates available options for a variety of aspects around the differentiation of mitigation commitments. We find that for the level of participation, the selection of commitment types, and choice of effort-sharing approaches there is no silver bullet. A portfolio approach that incorporates multiple options may be most suited to ensure environmental effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and political feasibility.
In this update the Climate Action Tracker has conducted a new analysis of the IPCC AR5 emissions database to evaluate the required level of global and regional action for 2020, 2025 and 2030 to limit warming to below 2°C or 1.5°C with a likely (66%) and high (85%) probability.
Africa is anticipated to be confronted with the severest adverse effects of human-induced climate change, compared to most other regions of the world, due to a combination of particularly severe projected impacts and relatively low adaptive capacity (e.g. IPCC AR4, World Bank 2013). The need for adaptation is expected to be high in Africa, especially in light of the existing deficit in adaptation to current climate variability and climate change. However, under any scenario of global mitigation and strong regional adaptation efforts, considerable adverse effects of climate change on Africa will remain, resulting in loss and damage.
The fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project uses four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) that span the literature range of total anthropogenic radiative forcing, but not necessarily of each single forcing agent.
Contributions to Summary for Policy Makers and Chapter 6: Assessing Transformation Pathways, 2013 & 2014
Climate sensitivity, the long-term temperature response to CO2, has been notoriously difficult to constrain until today.
For the operation of the GCF, it will be essential to define how the objective to promote paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways – as specified in the Governing instrument – will be operationalised. The paper provides some detailed reflections for mitigation and adaptation to stimulate ongoing discussion.
The emissions gap in 2020 is the difference between emission levels in 2020 consistent with meeting climate targets, and levels expected in that year if country pledges and commitments are met. As it becomes less and less likely that the emissions gap will be closed by 2020, the world will have to rely on more difficult, costlier and riskier means after 2020 of keeping global average temperature increase below 2°C. If the emissions gap is not closed, or significantly narrowed, by 2020, the door to many options limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C at the end of this century will be closed.
The Climate Action Tracker has spent recent months researching the world’s 24 biggest emitters, gathering data from a wide range of sources and today released its full assessment of their current pledges and policy pathways. These are the numbers that have been used to arrive at the 3.7degC policy projection.
Japan’s new 2020 target of a 3.8% cut in emissions at 2005 levels, announced overnight, will increase its own emissions and widen the global emissions gap by 3-4%, according to the Climate Action Tracker.
The Australian Government’s plans to dismantle the current climate legislation could lead to it increasing emissions in 2020 rather than meeting its target of reducing them by 5% from 2000 levels.
The IPCC’s Fourth Assessment (AR4) made clear Africa is a vulnerability hotspot for climate change.
This paper summarizes possible options for design elements of a GCF allocation mechanism.
The resource allocation framework will have to provide agreed principles and criteria for making transparent how decisions are taken on WHAT will be financed, while at the same time taking into account the guiding principles of the Governing Instrument.
For the operation of the GCF, it will be essential to define how the objective to promote paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways - as specified in the Governing instrument – will be operationalized.
The resource allocation framework will have to provide agreed principles and criteria for making transparent how decisions are taken on WHAT will be financed, while at the same time taking into account the guiding principles of the governing instrument.
This paper briefly highlights some of the significant and fundamental differences in objectives, terminology, approach, source of financing, legal nature and – importantly – responsibility under the UNFCCC and the Hyogo Framework. In view of these differences, the paper urges caution in reliance on HFA processes to address the range of concern raised under the UNFCCC on loss and damage.
Agricultural microinsurance is currently being tested in a wide vari-ety of settings to support smallholder farmers in developing coun-tries in coping with the effects of climate change, such as droughts, floods, or increased frequency and severity of infestations.
This note discusses how assessments of how global-mean warming (measured in °C) can shift under changing estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity.
Scientific assessments have shown that impacts are projected to worsen significantly above a global warming of 1.5, or 2°C from pre-industrial levels.
National action on climate change mitigation appears to be joining the international climate negotiations in the new and ever popular “climate shuffle” dance.
This briefing note provides information on illustrative emission pathways from the peer-reviewed literature that achieve limiting global-mean temperature increase to below 1.5°C by 2100.
This report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia.
In this report we assess how ambitious emission reduction pledges of emerging economies are compared to business as usual emissions, the countries' mitigation potential and respective efforts based on different equity principles.
Progress towards climate protection has been modest over the past decades despite the ever-increasing urgency for concerted action against global warming.
Limiting global warming below 2°C – or even to below 1.5°C remains technically and economically feasible, but only with political ambition backed by rapid action starting now, the Climate Action Tracker said today.
There is a vast surplus of units in Kyoto's cap-and-trade system.
This report provides a snapshot of recent scientific literature and new analyses of likely impacts and risks that would be associated with a 4° Celsius warming within this century.
This report shows that the estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of staying below the 2°C target is large, but it is still technically possible to close this gap through concerted and rapid action.
The Climate Action Tracker has updated our analysis on national greenhouse gas emission reduction proposals for 2020 under the international climate negotiations.
There have been an increasing number of statements from some in the scientific community and other commentators that meeting the 2°C warming goal is now beyond reach.
IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report noted that climate has changed since pre-industrial times.
Sea-level rise (SLR) is a critical and uncertain climate change risk, involving timescales of centuries.
IEA recently developed three updated scenarios for the 2012 edition of Energy Technology Perspectives.
Mexico has made some of the most advanced efforts in the developing world to tackle climate change, including passing strong climate change law, however Mexico still has a long way to go to achieve its emissions reduction targets.
This article provides further detail on expected global GHG emission levels in 2020, based on the Emissions Gap Report (United Nations Environment Programme, December 2010), assuming the emission reduction proposals in the Copenhagen Accord and Cancun Agreements are met.
The Durban Climate Summit concluded with groundbreaking establishment of a new body to negotiate a global agreement covering all countries by 2015.
Delaying any decisions on future climate action until 2015 or 2020 will bring a rapidly increasing risk in costs and threatens the likelihood of the world being able to keep global warming to below 2 degrees C, the Climate Action Tracker warned today in its Durban update.
Presentation for the Western Pacific Islands Durban, 2nd December
China is on track to meet – or even surpass – some of its Cancun climate pledges, yet its emissions will rise higher than expected, according to the latest Climate Action Tracker, released today at the Panama climate negotiations.
Australia’s new climate legislation is a historic breakthrough and a substantial step in the right direction
Bangkok climate talks have not changed the gap between emission reduction pledges and what is to needed to get the world on track for limiting global warming to 2 and 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are seen as an important vehicle for mitigation efforts in developing countries.
A UNEP Synthesis Report
This paper shows that ambitious global greenhouse gas mitigation action in a transparent and effective international climate regime is of great importance to LDCs.
The Review to be held from 2013–2015 is a key mechanism to assess the adequacy of the long-term global goal
In the international climate negotiations, long-term global targets can serve as a guideline for policy decisions on mitigation
In recent years, international climate policy has increasingly focused on limiting temperature rise, as opposed to achieving greenhouse-gas-concentration-related objectives.
Climate projections for the fourth assessment report1 (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were based on scenarios from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios2 (SRES) and simulations of the third phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project3 (CMIP3).
Sound decisions in international climate policy depend on comprehensive and reliable emission data as well as accurate analysis and comparisons of policy proposals.
Briefing for AirClim on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) under the Kyoto Protocol and Marrakech Accords.
Climate Policy for the small islands states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs)
The papers in this special issue of Regional Environmental Change address the question of what may be dangerous levels of climate change: the papers describe and analyse the vulnerability of human and natural systems in a number of regions around the world.
In the Copenhagen Accord, taken note of by COP15 in December 2009, developed country Parties committed to provide “new and additional resources (…) approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010–2012 with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation”.
Of current anthropogenic CO2 emissions, about 30% is absorbed by the oceans, in response to the higher CO2 concentration of the atmosphere
In IPCC's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) the Göobal Warming Potentials (GWPs) were updated from those in the 1995 Second Assessment Report (SAR).
A recent study comparing satellite images with older aerial pictures of 27 central PacificAtoll Islands found only 14% of the studied islands decreased in net land area, where as 43% increased in net area.
Of current anthropogenic CO2 emissions, about 30% is absorbed by the oceans, in response to the higher CO2 concentration of the atmosphere.
As part of the discussions of the shared vision of long‐term action under the AWG‐LCA a number of Parties have proposed a global goal reflecting a temperature level.
National targets ahead of the upcoming December climate summit in Copenhagen give virtually no chance of constraining warming to 2 °C and no chance of protecting coral reefs.