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Energy and Climate Change

What could additional policies achieve regarding the climate goal?

Question and Answer | 01-12-2015

In order to achieve the 2 °C climate target, very ambitious measures would have to be implemented throughout all sectors and in a substantial number of countries.

Several scenarios exist that explore such pathways on a global level.

Policy enhancement instead of global measures

Instead of making global analyses, it is also possible to look at specific measures targeted at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For instance, the recent PBL study Enhanced policy scenarios for major emitting countries showed that a limited set of policies could already lead to significant emission reductions, while delivering co-benefits for the countries that would implement them.

Good practice policies

In addition, if current good practice policies were to be implemented by all countries, global emissions in 2020 and 2030 are projected to be close to the range necessary for global warming to remain below 2 °C.

This would require a rapid implementation of policies, as well as complete geographical and broad sectoral coverage. See PBL study The impact of good practice policies on regional and global greenhouse gas emissions.

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The impact of the identified enhancement measures for the 13 countries/regions, in selected areas for achieving additional emission reductions, on narrowing the emission gaps in 2025 and 2030.


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Reductions below the implemented policies for policy areas, based on two methods from NewClimate Institute and PBL.

Climate action outside the UNFCCC

International climate initiatives operating outside the global climate negotiations could deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions of 2.5 GtCO2-equivalents by 2020 and 5.5 GtCO2 eq by 2030, compared to a scenario without climate policy. This is roughly the same amount as national governments have pledged to reduce in the context of the UN-led Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). See PBL study Climate action outside the UNFCCC.

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