Photo: Adam Mørk

Emissions Gap Report – the climate report that we are all waiting for

Tuesday 09 Jan 18


Anne Olhoff
Head of Strategy
DTU Management
+45 45 33 52 52

Emissions Gap Report 2017

When the world’s nations meet for the annual climate summits—the so-called Conferences of the Parties (COPS)—an important report will form part of the discussions: Emissions Gap Report. The report is prepared by the United Nations Environment Programme in collaboration with UNEP DTU Partnership in Copenhagen and is published right before the COP meetings.

The Emissions Gap Report—which has just been published for the eighth time—describes the gap between the countries’ promises on how much they will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the actual reduction required if we are to keep global warming to a global mean temperature increase well below two degrees Celsius by the end of this Century. At the COP21 climate summit in Paris in 2015, the countries agreed to endeavour to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The report is published by the United Nations Environment Programme in collaboration with UNEP DTU Partnership, which is housed in UN City Copenhagen (Nordhavn). Here, researchers gather the latest research-based knowledge that can shed light on these important issues: development trends in emissions of greenhouse gases, how large a reduction is needed, and the opportunities which the world’s nations have for a further reduction of emissions.

Not a doomsday report

“It differs from many other climate change reports in that it’s not simply a doomsday report where you get the impression that this is a lost cause. In this report, we describe that the world is far from where it should be in relation to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s still possible to limit global warming to maximum two degrees if we reduce emissions further and faster,” says Anne Olhoff, Programme Manager, UNEP DTU Partnership, and project manager on the report, and she continues:

“It’s important that we present the actual facts, so that the gap is understood, however, without making the situation appear so hopeless that politicians, civil servants, and the general public lose faith completely, or end up using the report as an excuse for doing nothing rather than as an incentive to take action,” she explains.

The presentation of the report is a great draw for the international press. Typically, the press conference is held abroad—last year in London—and back then, the results were impressive: In 2016, the report was cited in the media on 4,764 separate occasions—2,800 of these were media coverage in major media distributed on 115 countries in 30 different languages.


  UNEP DTU Partnership 

  • he United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was founded in 1972, and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • In Denmark, the UNEP is represented through UNEP DTU Partnership and is organizationally part of DTU Management Engineering.

  • UNEP DTU Partnership has developed into a major global player in energy, the environment, sustainable development, and climate change on the basis of an agreement between the UNEP, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and DTU.

  • UNEP DTU Partnership comprises a team of 70 researchers and economists from more than 20 countries.

  • UNEP DTU Partnership supports activities aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and ensuring sustainable development in more than 50 developing countries in cooperation with a broad network of national, regional, and international institutions and donors.


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