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The Emissions Gap Report 2022 and Concerns regarding Climate Change

  • Published
    31st Oct, 2022
Context

Recently, the Emissions Gap Report 2022, was released, which has highlighted 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) going to be held in Egypt.

About

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • The Report was titled as ‘The Closing Window – Climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies’ for the year 2022.
  • Objective:
  • The annual report assesses the gap between the pledges taken by different countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the estimated reduction required to maintain the average global temperature rise to below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, by the end of this century.
  • The flagship report is managed by the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre.

The UNEP:

UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

  • 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.

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

  • According to the 2022 report, 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), only reduce the emissions by 1 percent by the end of the decade.
  • With the current policies, the global temperature is expected to rise by 2.8°C by the end of this century, and emissions should be cut down by 45 percent globally to maintain the goal temperatures.
  • It also emphasized transformative solutions across sectors, including food systems.

What are the factors associated with contributing to Global Emissions?

  • The Livestock emissions:
  • Emissions from livestock mainly include carbon dioxide (from urea), nitrous oxide (from livestock dung and urine), and methane (from belching) among others.
  • They contribute towards the greenhouse effect as due to these gases, heat gets trapped around the surface of the earth and causes global warming.

Do you know?

The Global Warming Potential (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.

The Agriculture industry:

  • The process of cow belching releases more methane into the environment due to enteric fermentation, a digestive process where complex sugars are converted into simpler molecules to be absorbed into the bloodstream, producing methane as a by-product. Whenever a farm animal digests food, methane is released into the atmosphere.
  • The cultivation of paddy, which floods the fields, prevents oxygen from penetrating the soil and creates suitable conditions for methane-emitting bacteria. This accounts for roughly 8 percent of human-linked emissions.
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