Also in this chapter:
4.2 Findings for 2° C
4.3 Findings for 1.5° C
We have seen in this chapter that a global emissions gap is likely between expected emissions as a result of the pledges and emission levels consistent with the 2° C limit in 2020. But our analysis of options for implementing the Copenhagen Accord pledges has also shown that this gap could be narrowed through any of the following policy options57:
- Implement conditional pledges: If all countries were to move to their conditional (high ambition) pledges, it would significantly narrow the 2020 emissions gap towards 2° C. The gap would be reduced by about 2 to 3 GtCO2e, with most of the emission reductions coming from industrialized countries and a smaller, but important, share coming from developing countries. This would require that conditions on those pledges be fulfilled. These conditions include expected actions of other countries as well as the provision of adequate financing, technology transfer and capacity building. Alternatively it would imply that conditions are relaxed or removed.
- Minimise the use of “lenient LULUCF credits” and surplus emission units: If industrialized countries applied strict accounting rules to minimise the use of “lenient LULUCF credits” and avoided the use of surplus emissions units for meeting their targets, they would strengthen the effect of their pledges and thus reduce the emissions gap in 2020 by about 1 to 2 GtCO2e (with up to 0.8 GtCO2e coming from LULUCF accounting and up to 2.3 GtCO2e from surplus emissions units58).
- Avoid double-counting of offsets: Double-counting of offsets could lead to an increase of the gap of up to 1.3 GtCO2e, depending on whether countries implement their unconditional or conditional pledges (there is likely to be greater demand for offsets in the higher-ambition, conditional case). Hence avoiding double-counting could be an important policy option.
- Implement measures beyond current pledges: The scenarios assessed in Chapter 2 indicate that it is technically possible to reduce emissions beyond present national plans in 2020. These scenarios show that the gap could be closed, and that emission levels consistent with 2° C could be achieved through the implementation of a wide portfolio of mitigation measures, including energy efficiency and conservation, renewables, nuclear, carbon capture and storage, non-CO2 emissions mitigation, hydro-electric power, afforestation and avoided deforestation.
- Lay the groundwork for faster emission reduction rates after 2020: Emission pathways consistent with a 2° C temperature limit are characterized by rapid rates of emission reductions post 2020 (of greater than 2.2 per cent per year). Such reduction rates on a sustained time-scale would be unprecedented historically. Therefore it is critical to lay the groundwork now for faster post 2020 emission reductions, for example, by avoiding lock-in of high-carbon infrastructure with long lifespans, or by developing and demonstrating advanced clean technologies.