WWF: New report highlights how countries can close the emissions gap now

Posted on 03 June 2015

Countries from the Philippines to Kenya, Turkey, Colombia, UAE, Russia, Poland and the UK can take action
(Gland, Switzerland, 2 June, 2015) - WWF’s latest report on climate change Crossing the Divide: How to Reduce the Emissions Abyss 2 shows how key countries can begin work now to close the ‘emissions gap’– the gap between promised carbon reductions and what science tells us is needed.
The countries featured in the report are mainly middle income and oil-rich countries, including Philippines, Kenya, Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, UAE, Russia, Poland and the UK.
As the first wave of countries submit their national contributions to combat climate change in the period after 2020, it is already becoming clear that we are facing another huge emissions gap. This builds on an already existing emissions gap in the pre-2020 period. If governments continue on a low ambition path, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay below the 2oC, let alone a 1.5oC threshold.
Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation to the UN climate negotiations says there is plenty of ways governments around the world can limit their pre-2020 emissions. “These range from scrapping coal-fired power stations and increasing renewables to improving energy efficiency, strengthening emissions targets and addressing deforestation.”
The urgency to act is highlighted by the scientific evidence outlined in the latest IPCC report, which makes it clear that emissions have to peak before 2020 and sharply reduce after that.
The WWF report aims to keep a focus on the critical period leading to when a new climate agreement would take hold in 2020. “With all eyes on the new post-2020 deal to be agreed in Paris in December this year, there is a danger that we shift our attention away from what we need to do now and delay taking urgent and additional action in the next five years,” she says.
“We can’t just allow emissions figures to drift ever upwards, otherwise long-term targets will become even harder to meet. We need the world’s governments to show leadership, foresight and determination and to start making urgent changes right now,” says Essop.
“We hope negotiators take time to read the report and be reminded and inspired to act decisively to unlock the development and economic benefits through reducing emissions now,” she says.
Notes for Editors:
  1. Read the full report here: http://bit.ly/ClosingtheAbyss2 and the blog on the report here http://bit.ly/1FeCgcA.  The countries featured in the report are: Philippines, Kenya, Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, UAE, Russia, Poland and the UK.
  1. The countries featured in the earlier ‘Closing the Abyss report are India, China, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, France, United States of America, Australia and the European Union. The report can be found here http://bit.ly/ClosingtheAbyss, and a blog on the report here http://bit.ly/17eYMsQ .
For further information, contact:
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith ssmith@wwf.no  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
Tasneem Essop tessop@wwf.org.za
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
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