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Emissions Gap Report

Why in news?

  • The 2019 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report paints a “bleak” picture of accelerated global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a growing gap between “what we need to do and what we are actually doing to tackle climate change.”
  • Providing the first-ever estimate of annual cuts needed to achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change, the report emphasizes that even if the current climate commitments are met, the world is on course to exceed 3°C in global temperature rise, and calls for accelerated cuts in annual global emissions of 7.6% to meet the 1.5°C goal, and 2.7% for the 2°C goal.
  • The ‘Emissions Gap Report 2019’ presents the latest data on the expected gap in 2030 for the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets, exploring different scenarios, from no new climate policies since 2005 to full implementation of all national commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • In her introduction, UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson highlights findings showing that total GHG emissions, including from land-use change, reached a new high of 55.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2018.
  • She underscores that this “collective failure” means that countries must set in motion “the radical transformations we need now, or face the consequences of a planet radically altered by climate change.”
  • The report estimates that to limit temperature rise, annual emissions in 2030 need to be 15 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent lower than current unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) imply for the 2°C goal; and 32 gigatonnes lower for the 1.5°C goal. It notes that to deliver on these cuts, the levels of ambition in the NDCs must increase at least fivefold for the 1.5°C goal and threefold for the 2°C goal.

Postponing GHG emission Targets every year by most of the countries:

  • Globally, countries have collectively failed to stop the growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to which deeper and faster cuts are now required to avert climate catastrophe.
  • The UN’s Emissions Gap Report highlighted that there is no sign of GHG emissions peaking in the next few years.
  • Every year of postponed peaking means that deeper and faster cuts will be required.
  • By 2030, emissions would need to be 25 per cent and 55 per cent lower than in 2018 to put the world on the least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to below 2˚C and 1.5°C respectively.

United Nations Climate Change Conference 2019:

  • The first major offsetting scheme, the U.N.s clean development mechanism (CDM), was set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in which 190 countries agreed country-by-country emission reduction targets.
  • Carbon offsetting allows a country to help reach its own emissions reduction targets by funding emission reductions in another country.
  • Companies are also increasingly using carbon credits to offset their emissions.
  • Underlines India’s leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.
  • Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under commitment period in accordance with Sustainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.

For India, Energy Conservation Code of 2018:

  • Giving a further fillip to India’s energy conservation efforts, Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R).
  • ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 an Energy Conservation Building Code for residential buildings, to push for energy efficiency in residential sector was launched on December 14, 2018.
  • It aims to promote design and construction of homes including apartments and townships to give benefits of energy efficiency to the occupants. Ministry of Power launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018.
  • To benefit the occupants and the environment by promoting energy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships.


  • Climate emergency declarations are, broadly, symbolic motions rather than legally binding legislation.
  • The UK’s declaration, for example, did not require any chances to the Climate Change Act or the nation’s Paris Agreement contributions.
  • As the UN report points out, India could do much more.
  • It needs to provide more consistent support for renewable energy, have a long-term plan to retire coal power plants, enhance ambition on air quality, adopt an economy-wide green industrialisation strategy, and expand mass transport.
  • In the key area of buildings, the energy conservation code of 2018 needs to be implemented under close scrutiny.
  • With a clear vision, India could use green technologies to galvanise its faltering economy, create new jobs and become a climate leader.

Current Affairs 2020

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