The United Nations Environment Programme released its 11th edition of the Emission Gap Report in 2020. The UNEP releases this report every year to measure the difference between the emissions and greenhouse levels estimated in 2030 and where they should ideally be to control climate change.
According to the Paris Agreement, one of the goals is to decrease global warming by bringing down the overall temperature from 2°C to 1.5°C. The UNEP was established on 5th June 1972, and it's the leading global environmental authority. It releases three reports other than the Emission Gap Report. They are Global Environmental Outlook, Invest into Healthy Planet, and Frontiers.
Key Highlights of the Emission Gap Report 2020
Highest GHG emission
Greenhouse Gas emissions reached a record high in 2019. It was calculated to be 52.4 Gigatonne carbon equivalent, excluding the land-use changes (LUC) For the third consecutive year, the report shows an increase in GHG emissions.
GHG emissions are decreasing in OECD or Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development economies and growing in non-OECD economies.
Record high carbon emission
Emissions from fossil fuels and carbonates or Fossil Carbon Dioxide emissions constituted the majority of the total GHG emissions.
They were observed to be at a record high of 38.0 GtCO2.
G20 counties for bulk emissions
Over the ten years, the top four emitters continue to be China, India, the USA, and EU27+UK. They continue to 55% of the total GHG emissions, excluding LUC.
Whereas the top seven emitters, including Japan, Russian Federation, and international transport, contribute 65% of total G20 members and are accountable for 78% of the total emissions.
Impact of Forest Fires on GHG emissions
From 2010 to 2019, GHG emissions have seen an average increase from 1.4% to 2.6%. One of the primary reasons behind this boost is due to large-scale forest fires.
On consumption-based emission
It's a common tendency that rich and developed countries have higher consumption-based emissions than territorial-based consumption. However, it was observed that both types of emissions were declining at a similar rate.
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Impact of COVID-19
Due to the global pandemic, we are living in unprecedented times. It is predicted that carbon dioxide emissions will decline by 7% in 2020 compared to 2019. The transportation sector will experience a dramatic change in emissions because of restrictions implemented to minimise mobility. Other sectors will report low emission rates due to the pandemic too.
The world is still heading to an overall temperature rise of 3°C above, which will be catastrophic. The pandemic has slowed down the economy and, by extension, GHG emissions to a certain extent, but it's not enough to attain the goals of the Paris Agreement.
FAQs on Emission Gap Report 2020
Q1. With regards to the Emission Gap Report 2020, what are the functions of UNEP?
Ans. In the context of the Emission Gap Report 2020, the functions of UNEP are -
- To set the global environmental agenda
- Promote sustainable development within the UN
- Act as an authoritative body for global environment protection.
Q2. In the context of the Emission Gap Report 2020, name the major campaigns launched by UNEP
Ans. With regards to the Emission Gap Report 2020, the major campaigns are, UN75, Beat Pollution, World Environment Day, and Wild for life.
Q3. Keeping in mind the Emission Gap Report 2020, what do you mean by green recovery?
Ans. Keeping in mind the Emission Gap Report 2020, Green recovery is the solution put forward by UN exports to decrease global warming for countries in COVID-19-induced economic slums. It involves reducing fossil fuel subsidies, investing in zero emission-based infrastructure and technology, promoting sustainable solutions, and banning new coal factories.
Q4. Where is the headquarters of UNEP, in the context of the Emission Gap Report 2020?
Ans. UNEP is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, In the context of the Emission Gap Report 2020.