Publications

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.  
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).  
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.  
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.  
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 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.  
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 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.  
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 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.  
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.  
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 analysis looking at the combined INDCs of all G7 governments and the EU, who are responsible, in aggregate, for around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of global GDP, ahead of the 2015 G7 meeting in Germany. The combined climate plans for the G7 and EU have made a small step towards the right track to hold warming to 2°C, but there is still a substantial emissions gap.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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 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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
Briefing for AirClim on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) under the Kyoto Protocol and Marrakech Accords.