An analysis of countries' climate change mitigation contributions towards the Paris agreement

Tommi Ekholm, Tomi J. Lindroos

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    142 "Intended, Nationally Determined Contributions" (INDCs) have been submitted to the United Nations' climate treaty (UNFCCC) towards the forthcoming Paris negotiations. In the INDCs, parties state their intended contribution for mitigating climate change in the coming decade. However, the content of the INDCs varies considerably between parties, making it difficult to estimate and compare the level of ambition by the parties, or the emission level implied by the INDCs. A critical question is whether the INDCs are collectively ambitious enough to keep the 2°C target within reach.

    This research
    •provides country-level estimates on the emissions implied by 53 INDC's,• compares the countries' contributions between each other,• presents temperature projections based on the INDCs and two post-2030 emission pathways, and o analyses 12 highest-emitting parties' INDCs in depth. 
    The emission levels around 2030 implied by 53 INDCs were compared to each other under the "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" principle. Most developed countries target significant emission reductions from the current level. For developing countries the level of ambition is very dispersed: while some target a stabilisation of emissions by 2030, some project more than 200% increase from 2010 level. Additionally, the mitigation effort is not quantifiable from many INDCs, e.g. because the Business-as-Usual scenario from which the reduction target is defined was not given in the INDC. Collectively, the INDCs would bring an emission reduction between 4 and 8 Gt CO2 eq from the reference scenario in 2030, with strong contribution from both developed and developing countries; and the global emissions would be between 50 and 54 Gt CO2 eq. An analysis of post-2030 emission pathways showed that this emission level is compatible with the 2°C target only if steep emission reductions are undertaken after 2030. Increasing the level of ambition of 2030 is a key priority to improve the changes of keeping global mean temperature increase below 2°C.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages53
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8378-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Technology


    • climate change
    • UNFCCC
    • INDC
    • greenhouse gas
    • scenario


    Dive into the research topics of 'An analysis of countries' climate change mitigation contributions towards the Paris agreement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this