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STATEMENT: WRI's Taryn Fransen Says UNEP Gap Report "Underscores The Importance of Reaching a Global Climate Agreement"

WASHINGTON (November 6, 2015)– UNEP released an executive summary of their annual report on country-level pledges to address greenhouse gas emissions. The reports assesses whether these pledges if fully implemented would be consistent with a least-cost approach to keep global average warming below 2° Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

The UNEP report finds that national climate plans (INDCs) submitted this year will contribute to reducing emissions through 2030, delivering about a third of the cuts needed to prevent dangerous global warming, relative to current policies. Including both conditional and unconditional pledges, emissions will be cut about 7 to 10 percent (4 to 6 GtCO2e) relative to current policies and 14 to 17 percent (9-11 GtCO2e) relative to business-as-usual growth. However the report finds that significantly more reductions, 12 to 14 GtCO2e, are still needed to follow a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2 degrees C.

The UNEP report explores the potential for more action across a many sectors to close the gap including energy efficiency, forestry, agriculture and waste.

Following is a statement from Taryn Fransen, director of Open Climate Network, World Resources Institute, and co-chair of the UNEP INDC assessment:

“Consistent with other recent analysis, the UNEP report finds that recent national climate plans will have a considerable impact to bend the curve on global emissions. It also underscores the importance of reaching a global climate agreement in Paris that includes a strong mechanism for countries to commit to deeper, faster reductions over time in order to decarbonize the economy within this century.

“We’re seeing remarkable momentum going into the Paris talks, but countries need to continue to increase their commitments and actions to prevent the worst impacts of a warming world. Achieving a strong, climate agreement in Paris will help keep this goal within reach.”

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