PBL provides climate change research for UN Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

24-10-2022 | News item

The 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022. It will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency is contributing to strengthening global action with several studies and reports that support policy-making and expand the knowledge base.

Key topics on the agenda of COP27 are:

  • Securing global net-zero emissions by 2050 and keeping the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C within reach
  • Mobilising public and private finance to secure global net-zero emissions
  • Adapting to protect communities and natural habitats
  • Strengthening collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has relevant knowledge and insights to offer, especially on trends in global emissions, updated and new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), net-zero emission targets, and scenarios to keep the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach. This page lists key PBL publications and international reports and articles to which we have contributed.

Overview of PBL studies relevant for COP27

Achieving zero emissions in all sectors is a difficult task

Many countries have made a commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by or around 2050. If some sectors have residual emissions, these must be compensated for by removing CO2 from the air and storing it. This can be done, for example, through large-scale reforestation or the use of biomass in combination with CO2 capture and storage. These measures involve risks, in particular for food security and biodiversity. An important conclusion from PBL’s study Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, published in cooperation with Utrecht University, is therefore that far more effort must be made globally to reduce emissions in the sectors where this is most difficult: industry, the built environment, agriculture, aviation and shipping.

Greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios for major emitting countries

Analysis of current climate policies and mitigation commitments: 2022 Update

This report by NewClimate Institute, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) provides an overview of projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 25 major emitting countries and regions up to 2030 under currently implemented policies. The report concludes that only 11 out of the 25 countries are on track to meet their latest NDC targets. This number remains unchanged compared to our 2021 update. Eight are on track to also meet their updated NDC targets. 14 countries are not on track to meet their updated targets, and two of the 25 countries have not submitted an NDC update.

UNEP Emissions Gap report 2022

Climate pledges leave the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.4-2.6°C by the end of this century Updated pledges since COP26 in Glasgow take less than one per cent off projected 2030 greenhouse gas emissions; 45 per cent is needed for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Transforming the electricity supply, industry, transport and buildings sectors, and the food and financial systems would help put world on a path to success. These are some of the main conclusions from the 2022 Emissions Gap Report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to which PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency contributed.

PBL Climate Pledge NDC tool

The PBL Climate Pledge NDC tool addresses the following three key questions:

  • What are the countries’ projected emission levels for their NDCs (including the updates and new NDC submissions) for 2030?
  • Will the projected aggregated impact of the fully implemented NDCs on global emissions for 2030 be sufficient to achieve the target of limiting global temperature increase to well below 2 °C / 1.5 °C?  
  • Are countries on track to meet their 2020 pledges and NDCs for the period up to 2030?

To address these questions, the tool shows the projected impact of the emission reduction proposals (2020 pledges or NDCs/INDCs) and current policies, per country and globally, on greenhouse gas emission levels up to 2030. The PBL Climate Pledge NDC tool shows the targets in these NDCs/INDCs and the pledges made earlier for 2020. For 26 major emitting Parties, the tool compares these targets with GHG emission projections under current domestic climate policies up to 2030.

PBL Global Stocktake tool

The Paris Agreement’s objective is to keep global warming to well below 2˚C or even 1.5˚C. Now, 6 years after Paris, the question arises whether countries are indeed doing enough to achieve this objective. What are the possible impacts of the pledges and national climate policies? The analysis shows that current pledges by the largest emitting countries are not in line with achieving the Paris temperature goals (i.e. the ambition gap). Moreover, in many countries, policies still need to be strengthened to achieve their pledges. PBL hosts the interactive ‘Global Stocktake’ tool, designed to measure progress on the climate goals formulated in the Paris Agreement, which includes a wide range of indicators and is based on a set of global and national models.

Updated NDCs collectively raise ambition levels, but need to be further enhanced to meet Paris climate goals

By January 2022, 156 countries had submitted new or updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. This study analyses the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and macroeconomic impacts of the new NDCs. The total impact of the updated unconditional and conditional NDCs of these countries on global emission levels by 2030 is an additional reduction of about 3.8 and 3.9 GtCO2eq, respectively, compared to the previously submitted NDCs as of October 2020. However, this total reduction must be about three times greater to be consistent with keeping global temperature increase to well below 2 °C, and even seven times greater for 1.5 °C.

Developing scenarios in the context of the Paris Agreement and application in the integrated assessment model IMAGE: A framework for bridging the policy-modelling divide

The framework presented in this study aims to provide insights into how climate policy is represented in integrated assessment models, responding to the call to link model scenarios with concepts used in public policy literature and related fields. As such, it contributes to increased transparency leading to better understanding across disciplines and communication about the relevance of model outcomes with policymakers. The framework categorises climate policy into policy aims and policy implementation at different stages of the policy cycle, and can be used to demarcate different climate policy scenarios incorporating and linking the international and national level. This approach provides clarity on critical modelling assumptions concerning the workings of policy to scenario users (including policymakers), such as policy stringency and status.