Closing the Emissions Gap to Limit Climate Change

co2-emissions-gap re-use of CO2

UN report says energy efficiency integral to bridging emissions gap

The Carbon Brief, November 19, 2014

There’s a disjoint between the emissions cuts countries say they’re going to make and what needs to be done to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to the latest annual update to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Emissions Gap report.

To close the gap and limit climate change, the world is going to have to get a lot better at using energy smartly, it says.

Each year UNEP takes a different aspect of the world’s energy economy to examine, in order to show how emissions could be curtailed. This year, it’s the turn of energy efficiency. So what’s the calculus on how using energy more intelligently could get us closer to two degrees?

Emissions gap

The impetus for this report is simple. Unless global emissions peak and decline in short order, the world will pass a point where global warming can be limited to two degrees.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report calculated the remaining amount of carbon dioxide humans can emit and still have a likely chance of limiting global warming to less than two degrees. It comes to about another 1,000 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

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