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5 Key Findings of Emissions Gap Report 2022

Oct 31, 2022

5 Key Findings of Emissions Gap Report 2022

Enhance your UPSC CSE preparation with our daily dose of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that make news at National and International level.

In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss 5 Key Findings of Emissions Gap Report 2022. The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: UNEP, United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC COP 27), Global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), Paris Agreement, livestock emissions, Global Warming Potential (GWP)

For Mains: The 2022 Emissions Gap Report, Findings of the 2022 report, Focus on the food systems industry, About livestock emissions, Indian Government Initiative.


Recently the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the Emissions Gap Report 2022, raising alarm for immediate action toward climate change.

Probable Question

The Emissions Gap report 2022 tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms, and raging fires.

About The 2022 Emissions Gap Report

  • Focus: The need for countries to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC COP 27) that will begin on November 6 in Egypt.
  • UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre: 
    • It manages the flagship report.
    • It serves as a “scientifically authoritative source of timely and policy-relevant information to key decision-makers,” guiding the UNFCCC process and implementing the Paris Agreement.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

The UNEP, Since its inception in 1972, has been the global authority. It sets the environmental agenda and promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the UN  system. It serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Paris Agreement: It was adopted by 196 countries in 2015 at COP 21.It was aimed at limiting global warming and maintaining the average global temperature rise, ideally, to below 1.5°C.

Findings of the 2022 Report 

1) Global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in 2020: 55% of it was through these seven emitters (China, the EU27, India, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America) plus international transport. 

2) G20 members: They are responsible for 75% of global GHG emissions.

3) Tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) in 2020:

6.3 tC02e is the global average per capita GHG emissions in 2020. 

However the US remains far above this level at 14 tCO2e, followed by Russia at 13 tCO2e, China at 9.7 tCO2e, Brazil and Indonesia at about 7.5 tCO2e, and the European Union at 7.2 tCO2e.

India remains far below the world average at 2.4 tCO2e.

4) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

The national pledges taken by countries since last year only make a “negligible difference” to predicted 2030 emissions. 

These pledges or the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) reduce the emissions only by 1% by the end of the decade.

5) Global temperature: It is expected to rise by 2.8°C by the end of this century, along With the current policies. 

Significance of this Annual Report

It assesses the gap between the pledges taken by different countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

  • It estimated the reduction required to maintain the average global temperature rise to below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, by the end of this century.
  • It emphasized transformative solutions across sectors, including food systems.

Focus on the Food Systems Industry

  • Food systems comprise all food products, derived from crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries, and the larger socio-economic systems surrounding them. 
  • As food systems are often neglected in global climate action plans, that prevents people from recognizing emissions produced as a result of their consumption and production patterns, as well as of livestock.
  • The agricultural production processes result in significant greenhouse gas emissions, like biogenic methane and nitrous oxide.
  • The cultivation of paddy, floods the fields, prevents oxygen from penetrating the soil, and creates suitable conditions for methane-emitting bacteria. 
  • An IPCC research showed methane is responsible for at least a quarter of today’s global warming.

About Livestock Emissions

  • Livestock mainly emits carbon dioxide (from urea), nitrous oxide (from livestock dung and urine), and methane (from belching) among others. 
  • These gases trap heat around the surface of the earth and cause global warming by contributing to the greenhouse effect.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the GWP of gases is a metric that helps measure “the radiative effect (determined by the ability to absorb energy) of each unit of gas” over a specific period of time such as 100 years, “as expressed relative to the radiative effect of carbon dioxide.”

GWP helps in knowing gases such as nitrous oxide and methane, that they: Produce more heat around the earth’s surface than carbon dioxide or CO2, which is taken as a reference. 

Methane absorbs more energy than CO2 but stays in the atmosphere for a shorter duration. Over a 20-year-period, methane has 80 times more GWP than that carbon dioxide, according to the UNEP website.

Indian Government Initiative

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
  • Thirty-three States /Union Territories (UTs) have prepared their State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC).
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
  • Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS).
  • Green Grids Initiative: One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG).

Way Forward

  • Global emissions should be reduced by 45% globally to maintain the goal temperatures
  • UNEP said that the G20 countries have just started to work on meeting their new targets, and collectively, are expected to fall short of their promises for 2030.
  • The current policies currently suggest a 2.8°C hike, to get on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gases by unprecedented levels over the next eight years.
Additional Information:

New Zealand:
It is one of the world’s largest exporters of dairy and meat products.

Biogenic methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for about half of New Zealand’s gross emissions

New Zealand has recently planned to tax agricultural emissions, including those from livestock burps and waste, to “transition to a low emissions future” and fulfill its promise “to price agriculture emissions from 2025,”.

A pricing mechanism will also be introduced to achieve the emissions reduction target by 2050.

China: At COP 26 last year, China as one of the biggest emitters of methane entered a bilateral agreement with the US for reducing methane emissions.

China promised to phase down its coal consumption, beginning in 2025.

Egypt: With the latest report, all eyes are on COP27 in Egypt, with a focus on climate adaptation, climate finance, and transition to assist countries that are most affected by climate change.

News Source: The Indian Express


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