UN Releases 2013 Emission Gap Report, Calls for Increased Environmental Tech

November 6, 2013
Matthew Miller

The risks of irreversible damage to the environment will increase significantly if the global average temperature increases by 2° C in the coming century, and the solutions will only get more difficult and costly the longer we wait.

That’s according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 4th Emission Gap Report, which was released on Tuesday, and highlights an urgent need to cut CO2 emissions before 2020. The report involved 44 scientific groups in 17 countries, with the expressed purpose of evaluating the least-cost path to keeping global temperature rise below 2° C.

The report offers a plan to cut down CO2 emissions that includes increased energy efficiency, improved agricultural practices, and replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.

The UN believes that renewable energy initiatives could cut 1 to 3 Gigatons of Carbon Dioxide (GtCO2e) from emissions by 2020, and UNEP says that faster adoption will become more urgent if we don’t act soon: 

“If the [emissions] gap is not closed or significantly narrowed by 2020, the door to many options to limit temperature increase to a lower target of 1.5° C will be closed, further increasing the need to rely on faster energy-efficiency improvements and biomass with carbon capture and storage.” – UNEP

The report was released in anticipation of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties, which will take place later this month in Warsaw, Poland.

To view the entire report, follow this link.