In the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries agreed to collectively limit the average global temperature increase by the end of the century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Several studies have since found that current climate targets, measures, and planned actions, even if fully implemented, will fall short of achieving this goal.

This project aims to show that the Paris goal is still within reach, if a set of additional mitigation actions are implemented in all economic sectors and all geographies by 2030.

The methodology has tree broad components:

  • Quantifying the “emissions gap” in 2030 i.e., the difference between the emissions level needed to align with a Paris-compatible temperature goal (1.5°C benchmark scenario) and the emissions level being projected under a baseline scenario.
  • Quantifying the “mitigation potential” of different actions i.e., how much these individual actions can contribute to closing the emissions gap in 2030.
  • Comparing the estimated values to a systematic literature review.

The first policy brief published under this project in 2019 found that implementing 24 concrete emissions mitigation actions by 2030 could put the world on track for an emissions pathway needed to limit global warming to well below 2°C by end of century. It included actions such as deploying more renewable energy, transitioning away from coal, boosting energy efficiency, accelerating electric vehicle deployment, increasing climate target ambition, and ending deforestation.

Since the publication of this policy brief, the global context has changed in a way that impacts its findings. 2030 emissions projections have been adjusted, following the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis resulting from the Russian attack on Ukraine. At the same time, governments have raised their 2030 climate ambition, by updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and forming new international cooperative initiatives to achieve climate goals in different sectors.

In light of these changes, this project will produce a follow-up policy brief in 2023 with latest emissions projection data and an updated analytical approach. It will show the mitigation potential of supply and demand side actions in different global sectors – electricity, transport, buildings, industry, forestry, and agriculture – in closing the emissions gap in 2030. The actions included under these sectors will be additional to those already planned under latest NDCs. For some sectors, it will also assess the mitigation potential for a selected set of countries.

This project is a collaborative effort between the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and NewClimate Institute.

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