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Existing climate solutions could cut global emissions by 25%

A recent report produced by Sitra suggests that seventeen climate solutions already in use could deliver reductions equivalent to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, which was supported by 11 world-leading institutions, took climate solutions that have already proven successful in 36 countries and asked what would happen if these were scaled up internationally, using realistic projections through 2030. 

The findings indicate that that the solutions could go a long way towards closing the “emissions gap”, the extra emissions reductions required to limit global average warming to less than 2°C, as calculated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Twelve gigatonnes is a quarter of today’s global annual greenhouse gas emissions and up to three times the reductions that governments have pledged ahead of the UNFCCC climate summit starting in Paris on Monday 30th November. It is also equivalent to the combined annual greenhouse gas emissions of the USA and European Union, or the combined energy-related carbon dioxide emissions of China and India.

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute (WRI), said: “The Sitra report presents smart, common sense actions that countries can take to close the “emissions gap” while promoting strong economic growth. Taken together these solutions would more than double the emissions reductions in 2030 beyond what will be achieved through the announced national climate plans. Building on the wave of climate commitments ahead of Paris, this report offers proven steps to speed the transition to a robust, low-carbon global economy.”

The 17 solutions in the report fall under five categories: renewable energy, industry, transport, buildings and households, and forests and agriculture. Those that could reduce the most emissions are as grid-connected solar (based on success in Germany), reduced deforestation (Brazil), wind power (Denmark), improved cook stoves (China), and reforestation and afforestation (Costa Rica).

Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra, said: “We already have climate solutions that are proven to work at the level of nations. How far can we go if we take these to a global scale? The Sitra report shows that these off-the-shelf solutions can make a big contribution to closing the emissions gap, without breaking the bank, and with no need for out-of-this-world inventions.” 

Sitra and its partners will brief government officials on the results of the report at locations around the world in the coming months. 

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