What will global annual emissions of greenhouse gases be in 2030, and will they be consistent with avoiding global warming of more than 2°C?


Headline issue

Countries agreed at the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru, in December 2014 to set out their “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs) during the first quarter of 2015, ahead of COP21 in Paris, France, in December 2015.

As of 30 April 2015, 35 countries, including the 28 Member States of the European Union, have submitted INDCs. In addition, China has already provided some indication of what may be included in its INDC.

This policy paper describes the preliminary calculation of what global annual emissions in 2030 could be, based on the INDCs and announcements by some of the largest emitters: the European Union, the United States and China.

It finds that the current ambitions and plans of countries are not consistent with the international goal of avoiding global warming of more than 2°C.

Key findings

Countries should focus on four key ways to increase the ambitions of emissions cuts both before and after the Paris summit:

  1. Hard work is needed over the next few months by all countries to find credible ways of achieving bigger emissions reductions which can be included in pledges to be submitted before the Paris summit, or achieved through additional efforts by partnerships, for example, through specific decarbonisation initiatives among willing countries.
  2. An intensification of efforts to increase investment and innovation – particularly in relation to the development of cities, energy systems and land use – could help to close the gap between countries intentions and the emissions reduction goal before and after 2030.
  3. A mechanism should be included in the agreement emerging from the Paris summit in December so that countries can review their efforts and find ways of ramping up the ambition of their emissions reductions by 2030 and beyond.
  4. Concerted efforts are needed by all countries to build the strong and transparent domestic base necessary for the implementation of their pledges. This should set them on a path to decarbonisation and enable them to ramp up their ambitions.