WWF: How To Close The Emissions Abyss

WWF International recently launched a report Crossing the Divide: How to Close the Emissions Abyss to coincide with discussions by UN climate negotiators, focusing on emissions reductions in the pre-2020 period. The report highlights the ‘gigatonne gap’ of emissions reductions needed to meet 2020 commitments.

In the report, national contacts in various developed and developing countries provide an analysis of the current situation on energy and climate change, and then provide ways their governments could do more to close the emissions gap. Measures include phasing out inefficient coal-fired power stations, increasing renewables, improving energy efficiency, strengthening emissions targets and addressing deforestation.

What is going on in Cleanleap countries?

The five developing countries featured in the WWF report are India, China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. Key highlights from the report are:

  • The 'national action plan on climate change' says the share of renewables in India's electricity mix is to increase to 15% by 2020.
  • China seems to be moving away from resource and energy intensive development – including in industries such as cement, iron and steel – as the whole country steps into a ‘New Normal’ economic phase.
  • In 2012 Mexico published a ‘Special Program for the Use of Renewable Energy’, which commits to increasing the amount of electricity sourced from renewable energy to 25% by 2018 (up from 15% in 2012).
  • The biggest source of greenhouse gases in Brazil over the last decade is no longer deforestation of the Amazon, but energy production and agriculture.
  • Integrated public transit systems (including rapid bus and modern rail systems) are being rolled out in many cities in South Africa, along with a planned carbon tax in 2015.