Bridging the greenhouse-gas emissions gap

Bridging the greenhouse-gas emissions gap / Kornelis Blok, Niklas Höhne, Kees van der Leun & Nicholas Harrison. Nature Climate Change, 2012, 17 June, doi:10.1038/nclimate1602

We propose a new approach — which we call ‘wedging the gap’ — consisting of 21 coherent major initiatives that together would trigger greenhouse-gas emission reductions of around 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Gt CO2e) by 2020, plus the benefits of enhanced reductions in air-pollutant emissions. This supports and goes substantially beyond the emission reductions proposed by national governments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The approach would play a significant part in bridging the gap between current emission trends and what is necessary to put the world on a path that would limit global temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. The proposed initiatives build on actions that promise numerous benefits to the organizations and individuals undertaking them, and front-runners are already demonstrating that such benefits are real. These initiatives aim to take these benefits to the mainstream, drastically amplifying their impacts and showing all organizations involved that together they can play a leading role in solving the climate challenge. Many of the initiatives also generate significant ‘green growth’ benefits, stimulating economic development based on environmentally sound solutions and providing additional motivation to engage. We expect that working together on a grand coalition would serve as a catalyst for action, greatly enhancing the willingness of a range of sub-sovereign and non-state actors to contribute to greenhouse-gas emission reductions. This in turn would support the implementation and strengthening of the pledges for which national governments remain responsible, and eventually stimulate sufficient reductions to bridge the greenhouse-gas emissions gap. (© Kornelis Blok, Niklas Höhne, Kees van der Leun & Nicholas Harrison)


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