Governments are preparing to submit intended nationally determined contributions (iNDCs) as inputs to the preparations for the ADP agreement in Paris in 2015 that is expected to include mitigation commitments. Decision 1/CP.19 acknowledges that these are to put forward in the context of moving towards achieving the objective of the Convention in Article 2. With the global goal of holding warming below 2°C, and with a review of the 1.5oC limit, as called for by SIDS and LDCs, now underway, the question arises as to what are the global emission levels in the period 2020, 2025 and 2030 consistent with these goals, and against which the aggregated effect of iNDCs can be assessed for adequacy.
There are also proposals for the inclusion of aggregate global emission limits in elements of the ADP agreement. Parties are presently preparing iNDCs with submissions requested by March 2015. Assessment of the aggregate effect of these with respect to the below 2°C goal, and also with respect to the return to 1.5°C limit by 2100, are under review by the UNFCCC.
This will require knowledge of emission levels in the 2020s consistent with these long-term global goals.
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.