Analysing the emission gap between pledged emission reductions under the Cancún Agreements and the 2 °C climate target

Following the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, in 2011, international climate policy has taken a further step towards agreement on legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. However, none of these commitments will be implemented before 2020. Therefore, the pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as put forward by Parties in the Cancún Agreements (2010) still hold. These pledges have a voluntary nature and, therefore, a route of ‘pledge and review’ will be followed until 2020. This report reviews the country pledges and presents answers to several questions around this subject. What would be the emission level by 2020 if pledges indeed are achieved? How much do these pledges contribute to the long-term target of limiting global warming to a maximum of 2 °C? What are the risks of widening the emission gap between the proposed levels and those necessary for reaching the 2 °C target? Which measures could reduce this emission gap?