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UNEP issues greenhouse gas emissions report

The UN Climate Change Conference (2-13 December 2019) #COP25 in Madrid started today, less than a week after the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) issued its annual Emissions Gap Report. The report found that the world is not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which hit a new high of 55.3 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2018. To be in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, emissions must drop 7.6 per cent per year from 2020 to 2030 for the 1.5°C goal and 2.7 per cent per year for the 2°C goal. In the report, the UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen noted that the Climate Action Summit (23 September 2019) had increased momentum to address the global challenge. Nations must raise their current pledges over fivefold for the 1.5°C goal when they revise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020 and triple their pledges to reach the 2°C goal. She observed that political and societal focus on the climate crisis is at an all-time high, with youth movements holding the global community to account. Prior to the start of COP25, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on governments to demonstrate increased ambition and commitment. For background information on UN climate change activities see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established in 1988; the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which entered into force in 1994; the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and its 2005 entry into force; the Cancún Adaptation Framework in 2010; the 2014 Lima Conference (COP20); and sustainable development goal 13 on climate action #SDG13.