EMISSION GAP REPORT 2023 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     22nd November 2023        
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Context: Recently, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) highlighted in its 14th Emissions Gap Report 2023 that there is only a 14% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, even when considering the most optimistic climate action projects.

Emission Gap Report 2023

  • Released by: UNEP, tracks our progress in limiting global warming well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement.
  • Key Findings:

oRecord-Breaking Temperatures: In 2023, there were 86 days with temperatures exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

oThe month of September set a new record as the hottest ever recorded, surpassing the previous highest temperature by an unprecedented 0.5°C.

oGlobal GHGs Emissions: In 2022, emissions rose by 1.2%, setting a new record at 57.4 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e).

oEmissions Gap and NDCs: The emissions gap is defined as the variance between the anticipated global emissions outlined in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and those in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

  • The global ambition articulated in the upcoming round of NDCs in 2025 is critical for attaining targets that align with the pathways below 2°C and 1.5°C.
  • CO2 Removal Strategies: The report pointed out that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will be necessary, given that Net Zero emissions will be impossible without residual emissions being balanced out through removals.


  • About: UNEP operates as a specialized agency within the United Nations system.
  • Origin: UNEP was established following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 (Stockholm).
  • Function: To facilitate and coordinate environmental efforts across the United Nations.

oUNEP bears overarching responsibility for addressing and managing environmental challenges within the United Nations' various agencies.