Interactivity limited
In order to experience the interactivity, we advise you to view this website in a modern browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE 9 and higher)..Sluiten
Interactivity limitedTo experience the interactivity well, we advise you to view this website later on your desk or laptop. Sluiten

The global stocktake
Keeping track of implementing the Paris Agreement

As part of the , countries worldwide agreed to keep global warming to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C. National scale implementation is reported in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and mid-century strategies, and the Paris Agreement envisions a process for keeping track of whether the national progress is consistent with the overall objective, i.e. the global stocktake (Article 14). The so-called facilitates the beginning of the process to engage in this stocktake. Here we present several to measure progress towards achievement of the Paris goals. These indicators are based on scenarios from the CD-LINKS and COMMIT projects, and are outcomes from so-called . is presented on a global and for seven large . The various indicators relate to emissions, carbon budgets, decarbonisation rates, policy coverage and innovation (see also tabs above).

How large is the ambition and implementation gap for large emitting countries and the world as a whole?

Total Kyoto emissions for pathways representing no-policy, national policies, NDC, and well below 2°C implementation on a global level and for nine large G20 economies. Ranges show differences in global models (10-90% percentile). In addition. for some countries one or two national model projections are included.

The world is not on track to keep temperature rise to well below 2 °C . The suite of scenarios provides insight into this topic by including current promises and deep mitigation scenarios that start with cost-optimal climate policy in 2020 or 2030, and enables comparison with different effort sharing approaches.

The emissions gap between the cost-effective scenarios to implement the Paris goals and the current policies, can be identified at both global and individual country scales. In many countries, current policies are not stringent enough to achieve the goals set in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Moreover, NDCs are often inconsistent with the Paris goals. The fact that current policies are insufficient to achieve the Paris goals may have serious implications. Either the targets are not being met, or the current overshoot will need to be offset in the long term. However, delaying climate actions means that faster scaling up of technologies will be necessary after 2030, leading to higher costs and a stronger reliance on negative emissions ().

More insight into the emission gap, with a breakdown per country and greenhouse gas

Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by gas and country for 2010, 2030 and 2050 for different climate policy scenarios (average value) and seven large G20 economies.
Breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions by gas and country for 2010, 2030 and 2050 for different climate policy scenarios (average value) and seven large G20 economies.

CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels form the lion’s share of all emissions and have the highest reductions in mitigation scenarios. Also, options exist for reducing CO2 emissions in the agriculture forestry and other land use ( ) sector. Non-CO2 emissions (CH4 and N2O) from agriculture are much more difficult to abate.

In 2010, the seven largest countries, in terms of emissions, produced around 65% of total emissions. More details on tracking Nationally Determined Contributions and national policies can be found on .

Depletion of carbon budgets

Depletion of carbon budgets in different climate policy scenarios (median value) on a global level and for seven large G20 economies.

Carbon budgets show how much cumulative CO2 emissions can be emitted while still keeping global average temperature well below 2 °C (above pre-industrial levels). A carbon budget links a specific temperature target to the allowed amount of emissions this century, given a certain probability of achieving the target (although there is a large ).

IPCC AR5 suggests certain carbon budgets: the ‘medium probability 2 °C’ budget has a range around 1,600 GtCO2, the ‘high probability 2 °C budget’ has a range around 1,000 GtCO2 the 1.5 °C budget has a range around 400 GtCO2.

Based on current emissions, carbon budgets will be exceeded at some point in time. The graphs, here, show this by crossing the zero line. The graphs allow combining different carbon budgets, consistent with different climate targets and burden sharing rules, with the various scenarios, to determine the moment at which cumulative emissions will exceed a particular target. The default budgets shown here for the various countries are based on cost-optimal implementation. However, we also show budgets based on burden sharing rules.

Under most scenarios, carbon budgets are exceeded already in the first half of this century. However, in the second half of the century, may compensate for this fact.

When do country emissions peak or go to net zero?

Emission peak year and net zero emission year for the world and nine large G20 countries.

In addition to the temperature targets, the Paris Agreement also indicates that emissions needs to be reduced in order to reach a balance between anthropogenic emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases. As some emissions sources (e.g. non-CO2 emissions from some activities) are difficult to reduce, they can be compensated by net removal of greenhouse gases elsewhere (so-called negative emissions, for example, by afforestation/reforestation). The graph shows both net zero and peak year of GHG emissions for different countries and regions. For some countries, emissions have already peaked. Net zero emissions are projected to occur in the second half of the century, but timing depends on the size and share of non-CO2 emissions and/or less potential to create negative emissions.

The rate of decarbonisation

Comparison of carbon intensity improvement (CO2/GDP, GHG/GDP) between history and different climate policy scenarios on a global level and for seven large G20 countries.

There are many dimensions to consider when discussing feasibility, such as institutional capacity, technology and costs. Here, we focus on the decarbonisation rate, i.e. the annual change in CO2 emissions per GDP (in Market Exchange Rates (MER)). In nearly all countries, the decarbonisation rate needs to significantly exceed historical levels, in order to reach the cost-efficient Paris scenarios.

Climate policy coverage has significantly increased in all regions

Coverage of different climate policies in terms of number, population and emissions on a global level and for world regions.
Coverage of different climate policies in countries.

The initiated by the NewClimate Institute and further developed as part of the CD-LINKS project by Wageningen University & Research and PBL, monitors the formulation of national policies, worldwide, and comprehensively covers sectoral measures in the top greenhouse gas emitting countries. Here, we show the percentage of countries that had economy-wide strategies/legislation and targets in place and their respective coverage of total greenhouse gas emissions and population, as an indicator of the development of climate policies ( ).

The figure shows that the global coverage of climate policies has improved, but at varied rates in different periods and for different indicators. The fastest development has been in setting targets for greenhouse gas emissions, in the period leading up to the Paris Agreement.

Are we on track with current innovations?

Innovation gap represented by the difference of implementation of zero-emission technologies in no-policy, national policies or NDCs and well below 2 °C scenarios

Global greenhouse gas emissions need to reach net zero, in the second half of the century. In most sectors, the infrastructure has a lifetime of several decades. In other words, in order to reduce emissions now by investing in zero-energy technology has both short- and long-term benefits. Therefore, we focus on the share of zero-carbon energy in several sectors. Particularly, the power sector is expected to nearly complete decarbonisation around 2050. The sector’s mitigation potential varies between regions, due to differences in development stage, energy system design and economic structure. The innovation indicators are presented in percentage of implemented non-CO2 emitting technologies, for each sector, and show the implementation level necessary for achieving the well below 2 °C scenario. Indicators are shown for the different CD-LINKS scenarios from the model.

The investment gaps

The Investment gap between no-policy, national policies or NDCs scenarios and well below 2 °C scenarios.

Another way of looking at the energy transformation required to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2 °C, is in terms of investment gaps. A comparison can be made between the investment level under the different scenarios and the investment portfolios needed to implement the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement ( ). Investment needs vary per country and given the interpretation of the well below 2 °C limit. In each case, total energy investments shift from fossil to non-fossil technologies, under a well below 2 °C , and may increase, relative to the ‘no-policy scenario’. In addition, total investments in renewables will significantly grow, in the period between 2010 and 2050.

Synergies with climate policies for deforestation and air pollution

Global impact of climate policy on air pollution (Mt sulphur emission)
Global impact of deforestation (hectares forest land)

Climate change is related to many other sustainability issues, which are reflected in the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate action is one of them, but there are also others that relate to this subject, such as ‘Good health and well-being’ (SDG 3) and ‘Life on land’ (SDG 15). Moreover, implementation of climate policies can have co-benefits for air pollution and deforestation, and these benefits are shown to increase with the stringency level of climate policy.

SDG 3 is related to air pollution and is closely linked to climate change, as fossil fuel combustion is a major driver of both. Air pollution is responsible for many deaths each year, caused for a large part by PM2.5 (particulate matter), ozone and NOx emissions. Black carbon (BC) and Organic carbon (OC) are a major component of PM2.5. In addition, also sulphur dioxide (SO2) has an impact on human health, especially leading to lung problems. Policies aimed to reduce short-lived climate forcers (SLFC), such as BC and SO2, are complementary rather than substitutes for policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which shows that carefully looking at the various relationships is

SDG 15 is about conservation of forests and restoration of degraded land. As forests are large carbon stocks, avoiding deforestation results in CO2 mitigation. The other way round, climate policy implementation can contribute to reducing deforestation, thus preserving forests as a natural habitat and source of biodiversity.


The suite of policies representing different ambition levels of policy implementation are

  • A no-policy scenario,
  • National policies,
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC),
  • 2 °C (high probability),
  • 2 °C (medium probability),
  • 2 °C delay scenario,
  • 1.5 °C

In the No Policy scenario it is assumed that no new policies are implemented after 2010, and is based on the second marker baseline scenario from the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP2). This is a middle-of-the road scenario in the mitigation and adaptation challenges space, and reflects an extension of the historical experience, particularly in terms of carbon and energy intensity improvements.

The National Policies scenario assumes implementation of current implemented policies, and the NDC scenario assumes full implementation of conditional country emission, energy and land-use targets from the Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.

The NDC scenario does not account for uncertainties in population, GDP growth and accounting rules and conditionality of the pledge. Rogelj et al (2017) show the global emissions range with a systematically exploration of possible interpretations of NDC assumptions would lead to emission for 2030 ranging from 47 to 63 GtCO2eq/yr.

In addition, the CD-LINKS scenarios include a 2 °C (high probability) and 2 °C (medium probability) representing scenarios that keep global warming below 2 °C with respectively 66% and 50% probability, starting with (cost-effective) deep reduction measures in 2020. These scenarios are assumed to have a carbon budget of respectively 1,000 and 1,600 Gt CO2 for the period 2010 to 2100.

The 2 °C delay scenario assumes implementation of NDCs until 2030, and a delayed implementation of (cost-effective) deep reduction measures to stay below 2 °C with a probability of 66% (1,000 CO2 budget).

The 1.5 °C (medium probability) assumes (cost-effective) deep reduction measures in line with the 1.5 °C temperature limit, and this is represented by a 400 Gt CO2 over the period 2010 to 2100.


We gratefully thank the contribution of all CD-LINKS teams in creating the underlying data. CD-LINKS is a project funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Also the contribution of the PBL team on data visualization and the financial support of Climate Works for this tool are gratefully acknowledged.