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Blog Posts: greenhouse gases

  • 5 Questions with Vivek Adhia: A New Program for Measuring India’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    The India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program, launched in July 2013, aims to offer a meaningful starting place by providing a standardized method for companies to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Conceived in partnership with WRI, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the program provides Indian businesses with tools and technical assistance to measure their emissions, identify reduction opportunities, establish short and long-term reduction goals, and track their progress based on the GHG Protocol, the most widely used emissions accounting and reporting standard in the world.

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  • New Initiative Will Identify Ways to Create an Effective and Ambitious International Climate Action Agreement

    Negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany this week to make progress on establishing a global climate agreement by 2015. But they’re not the only ones working to secure a worldwide climate action plan.

    WRI along with several other organizations recently launched a new global consortium, the Agreement for Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015), to help inform and support countries’ engagement in the international climate negotiations—and ultimately, help the world rise to the climate change challenge before it.

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  • Post-2020 Emissions-Reduction Contribution: Which Time Frame Should We Choose?

    As countries negotiate a new international climate agreement for the post-2020 period—including at this week’s intersessional meeting in Bonn, Germany—the key choices for putting the world on a secure pathway to a low-carbon future should be front-of-mind. The new agreement will be essential for putting in place the policies beyond 2020 that ensure a shift from high-carbon to low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. To do this, the agreement will have to send the right signals to governments and businesses about the trajectory we need to be on.

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  • UNFCCC in Bonn: Bringing Transparency, Understanding, and Clarity to Countries’ Post-2020 Climate Contributions

    The UNFCCC meetings in Bonn this week mark a critical time, as one of the issues negotiators are focusing on is the development of countries’ post-2020 plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Parties in a position to do so must communicate their post-2020 “contributions” by the first quarter of 2015. To help inform this discussion, we published a working paper outlining what this information should look like and why this level of transparency is important.

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  • New Study Raises Big Questions on U.S. Fugitive Methane Emissions

    A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences sheds light on a question that continues to vex industry executives and policymakers alike: How significant are fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas production?

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  • UNEP Report Finds Significant “Emissions Gap” Must Be Bridged

    A new report from the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that the world is still not taking enough action to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Assuming countries deliver on the pledges they have made to reduce their respective emissions, the Emissions Gap Report finds that global GHG emissions in 2020 will still be 18 to 27 percent above where they need to be if warming is likely to be limited to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This gap puts the world in a dangerous position of experiencing increased sea level rise, forest fires, and other serious impacts--unless we take action now.

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  • WRI Launches Upgraded Climate Data Explorer

    The world of open data welcomed a new platform this summer—WRI’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, or CAIT 2.0. The platform offers free online access to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other climate data, enabling researchers, policymakers, media, and others to download, visualize, and share data for analysis and communications on climate change.

    Today we’re pleased to roll out the next iteration of CAIT 2.0, featuring improved functionality and other upgrades. Check out a screencast of how CAIT 2.0 works, or read on to learn about some of the benefits visitors can expect to find.

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  • Designing the 2015 Climate Agreement: Options for Submitting “National Offers”

    The UNFCCC negotiations are entering a crucial phase. Negotiators decided nearly two years ago to establish an international climate action agreement “with legal force” by 2015. How this agreement will be structured, though, remains to be seen.

    WRI’s new working paper lays out the various options for designing the process for submitting "national offers," countries’ plans to reduce their respective greenhouse gas emissions. It will be critical for negotiators to focus on three key areas: the content of the offers, the timing and process for submitting them, and how they will be reviewed.

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  • 5 Ways Pennsylvania Can Reduce Power Plant Emissions

    Pennsylvania is generating more electricity than it has in the past, but the good news is that it’s doing so while emitting less carbon dioxide pollution. In fact, new WRI analysis finds that Pennsylvania can reduce its CO2 emissions 21 percent below 2011 levels by 2020 just by complying with current policies and taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Achieving these reductions will allow Pennsylvania to meet moderately ambitious EPA power plant emissions standards, which are due to be finalized in 2015.

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  • World’s Carbon Budget to Be Spent in Three Decades

    EDITOR'S NOTE 11/18/13: After this blog post was published, the IPCC updated its Summary for Policymakers. The figures in this blog post have been updated to reflect new information.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) has delivered an overwhelming consensus that climate change impacts are accelerating, fueled by human-caused emissions. We may have just about 30 years left until the world’s carbon budget is spent if we want a likely chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees C. Breaching this limit would put the world at increased risk of forest fires, coral bleaching, higher sea level rise, and other dangerous impacts.

    When Will Our Carbon Budget Run Out?

    The international community has adopted a goal for global warming not to rise above 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. Scientists have devoted considerable effort to understanding what magnitude of emissions reductions are necessary to limit warming to this level, as the world faces increasingly dangerous climate change impacts with every degree of warming (see Box 1).

    IPCC AR5 summarizes the scientific literature and estimates that cumulative carbon dioxide emissions related to human activities need to be limited to 1 trillion tonnes C (1000 PgC) since the beginning of the industrial revolution if we are to have a likely chance of limiting warming to 2°C. This is “our carbon budget” – the same concept as a checking account. When we’ve spent it all, there’s no more money (and the planet’s overdraft fees will be much more significant than a bank’s small charges for bounced checks).[^1]

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