Recently, The Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window – Climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Conservation of Environment and Ecology, Important International Institutions and their reports)
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Emissions Gap Report
- Highlights of the Emissions Gap Report 2022
- Why focus on the food systems industry?
- What are livestock emissions?
About Emissions Gap Report
- The UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report gives a yearly review of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
- The annual report from UNEP measures the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- The UNEP is a leading global environmental authority established in 1972 and Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
- It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.
- It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.
- The UNEP Publishes:
- Emission Gap Report,
- Global Environment Outlook,
- Invest into Healthy Planet.
Highlights of the Emissions Gap Report 2022
- The report focused on 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).
- 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 per cent 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 per cent globally to maintain the goal temperatures.
- It emphasised transformative solutions across sectors, including food systems.
Why focus on the food systems industry?
- Food systems comprise all food products, derived from crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries, and the larger socio-economic systems surrounding them.
- While other sectors are dominant in the global climate action plans, food systems are neglected.
- This often prevents the people from recognizing emissions produced as a result of their consumption and production patterns, as well as of livestock.
- In a first, New Zealand recently planned to tax agricultural emissions, which includes those from livestock burps and waste, in an attempt to “transition to a low emissions future” and fulfil its promise “to price agriculture emissions from 2025,”.
- New Zealand is one of the world’s largest exporters of dairy and meat products. However, the agricultural production processes result in significant greenhouse gas emissions.
- Mostly, biogenic methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for about half of New Zealand’s gross emissions, hence a pricing mechanism will be introduced to achieve the emissions reduction target by 2050.
What are 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.
- According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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.”
- Through GWP, we know gases such as nitrous oxide and methane produce more heat around the earth’s surface than carbon dioxide or CO2, which is taken as a reference.
- It absorbs more energy than CO2 but stays in the atmosphere for a shorter duration.
- Over a 20-year-period, it has 80 times more GWP than that carbon dioxide.
-Source: Indian Express