The Emissions Gap and What Countries Are Doing About It

Michelle Heath
The Emissions Gap and What Countries Are Doing About It

The United Nations Emissions Gap Report 2021, published in lead up to COP26, found that global temperatures could rise 2.7degrees centigrade by the end of the century.

Global Temperature Increase by 2100

The new and updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) as of the end of September 2021 are insufficient to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal (below a 2oC increase over pre-industrial levels, preferably 1.5oC).

The Climate Action Tracker projections suggest a gap between action and commitment. The latest NDCs presented in Glasgow to address climate change this decade would lead to around 2.4oC of global warming this century.

Government Spending on Green Initiatives

To begin addressing the gap, governments have included spending on green initiatives as apart of COVID-19 economic stimulus spending. This has been popularized with the phrase ‘Build Back Better’.

By Sector: Spending so far has been focused on retrofitting buildings, renewable power, and electric vehicles.

By Country: Asia and Europe represent the most government dollars towards green projects from COVID-19 recovery stimulus spending.


CAT – Climate Action Tracker

EGR 2021 – Emissions Gap Report 2021 produced by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNEP DTU Partnership (established by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN Environment and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 1990)

IEA – International Energy Agency

MT – million tonnes

NDCs – nationally determined contributions