The Emissions Gap Report 2015 – Executive Summary

United Nations Environment Programme (2015)

The year 2015 has the potential to become a turning point in global efforts to transform the prevailing social and economic development paradigm into a more sustainable one. The global community reached agreement in September 2015 on a set of 17 sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030, including climate change. Countries will meet again at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris with the aim of establishing a new global agreement on climate change, hereafter the ‘Paris Agreement’, with the ambition of limiting changes in global temperatures to below 2 °C or 1.5 °C warming in 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement will also aim to establish a framework to provide technological and financial support for developing countries to accelerate the transition towards low carbon and climate resilient development paths. The architecture of a new climate agreement has many facets with an array of issues under negotiation that have become significantly more complex since the Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force in 1994. The core structure of the Paris Agreement will comprise the “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) as well as the process by which implementation of the agreement will proceed over time to advance the objectives of the UNFCCC. In addition, a number of key decisions will be required covering issues like adaptation, finance, technology, and capacity building.