The Emissions Gap Report 2017: A UN Environment Synthesis Report

The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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. Read More

Potentials and Limitations of Different Requirements (Offsetting) in Bilateral and Global Carbon Pricing Systems

This report explores the introduction of carbon taxes with a national offset component and their interactions with other policy areas, and makes recommendations on this topic. In this task, the study focuses on the approaches Chile, Mexico and South Africa have chosen for elaborating their carbon taxes. Read More

The Paris Agreement: resolving the inconsistency between global goals and national contributions

Article published in Climate Policy on resolving the inconsistency between global goals and national contributions. We find that many of the contributions are conservative and in some cases may be overachieved. We also find that the preparation of the INDCs has advanced national climate policy-making, notably in developing countries. Read More

Publication in Nature: Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2°C

The Paris climate agreement aims at holding global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this, countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining their post-2020 climate action. Here we assess the effect of current INDCs on reducing aggregate greenhouse gas… Read More

Publication in Local Environment: The transformational potential of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in Tanzania: assessing the concept’s cultural legitimacy among stakeholders in the solar energy sector

While energy-sector emissions remain the biggest source of climate change, many least-developed countries still invest in fossil-fuel development paths. These countries generally have high levels of fossil-fuel technology lock-in and low capacities to change, making the shift to sustainable energy difficult. Tanzania, a telling example, is projected to triple fossil-fuel power production in the next… Read More

Publication in Nature Climate Change: National post-2020 greenhouse gas targets and diversity-aware leadership

Achieving the collective goal of limiting warming to below 2 °C or 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels requires a transition towards a fully decarbonized world. Annual greenhouse gas emissions on such a path in 2025 or 2030 can be allocated to individual countries using a variety of allocation schemes. We reanalyse the IPCC literature allocation database… Read More

Publication in Nature Climate Change: Aligning corporate greenhouse-gas emissions targets with climate goals

Corporate climate action is increasingly considered important in driving the transition towards a low-carbon economy. For this, it is critical to ensure translation of global goals to greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets at company level. At the moment, however, there is a lack of clear methods to derive consistent corporate target setting that keeps cumulative… Read More

Comparative assessment of Japan’s long-term carbon budget under different effort-sharing principles

This article assesses Japan’s carbon budgets up to 2100 in the global efforts to achieve the 2°C target under different effort-sharing approaches based on long-term GHG mitigation scenarios published in 13 studies. The article also presents exemplary emission trajectories for Japan to stay within the calculated Budget. Read More

Enhanced policy scenarios for major emitting countries

Main report – May 2015 Download This report elaborated by PBL, NewClimate Institute, IIASA and Ecofys provides an overview of projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of seven major emitting countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, and the United States) out to 2030, taking into account the emissions trajectories based on current and selected enhanced policies.… Read More

Beyond pure offsetting: Assessing options to generate Net-Mitigation-Effects in carbon market mechanisms

Carsten Warnecke, Sina Wartmann, Niklas Höhne, Kornelis Blok
This research analysed the question if approaches for carbon market-based mechanisms exist that allow the generation of net emission reductions in host countries while keeping project initiation attractive. We present a criteria-based assessment method and apply it for four generic options in existing mechanisms and derive implications for future mechanism frameworks. Read More

Improving Co-benefits and ‘Triple Win’ Impacts from Climate Action: The Role of Guidance Tools

Naess, L.O., Hagemann, M., Harvey, B., Urban, F., Hendel-Blackford, S. and Höhne, N.
This CDI Practice Paper addresses the role of tools in supporting interventions to achieve the ‘triple wins’ of adaptation, mitigation and development. Over recent years there has been a proliferation of guidance tools to support adaptation or mitigation, increasingly in a development context, but little work on the role tools play in helping to bridge the gap between these three areas in practice. Read More

Are major economies on track to achieve their pledges for 2020? An assessment of domestic climate and energy policies

Mark Roelfsema, Michel den Elzen, Niklas Höhne, Andries F. Hof, Nadine Braun, Hanna Fekete, Hannes Böttcher, Ruut Brandsma, Julia Larkin
Many of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries have planned and/or implemented domestic mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes, feed-in tariffs, or standards. This study analyses whether the most effective national climate and energy policies are sufficient to stay on track for meeting the emission reduction proposals (pledges) that countries made for 2020. Read More

China starts trading carbon

Christian Ellermann, Constanze Böning
This article explains the nature of the new pilot greenhouse gas emission trading schemes (ETS) in China, as well as the significance of their introduction. By moving towards the allocation of emission rights through market mechanisms, the government is signalling that it is addressing climate change seriously and that it wishes to be compared to Europe and the most progressive regions of North America that have also adopted emissions trading. However, the authors also argue that a transition to a more important role for markets in the area of energy and the environment is still in its very early stages. Read More