The Global Stocktake

The Global Stocktake

Keeping track of implementing
the Paris Agreement

The Global Stocktake tool presents several indicators to track progress in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Climate Agreement sets targets at the global scale, but action needs to be taken by individual countries. Therefore, the Agreement envisions a process to review whether the combined action at the national level is sufficient to implement the overall objective, i.e. 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 (referred to as the global stocktake, Article 14).

The indicators presented here are based on model-based scenarios that compare the action needed to meet the overall objectives, with the action promised by individual countries (reported via the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the actual implemented policies (based on a database of currently implemented policies). The stocktake tool intends to allow a wide range of interested parties to assess progress.

Last modified: 9 march 2021

Comparison between current policies and pledges and optimal scenarios towards the Paris Goals

Greenhouse gas emissions (Mt CO2-equivalents per year) between 2000 and 2015 (historical data) and from 2015 until 2050 (model projections). Lines show the median of all models, while shaded areas show the full range. Different colours represent different scenarios. Results are shown for the world and 11 regions (drop-down menu).

The world is not on track to limit temperature rise to well below 2 °C . The suite of scenarios provides insights into this topic by including current and planned policies, NDC targets, and deep mitigation scenarios that start with cost-optimal climate policy in 2020 or 2030. The tool also 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 the global and the individual country level. 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 (Kriegler et al., 2018).

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

Greenhouse gas emissions (Mt CO2-equivalents per year) in 2030 and 2050 (drop-down menu), broken down by gas (different colours): CO2-emissions from energy and industrial processes, CO2-emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU), CH4 emissions, N2O emissions, and F-gas emissions. From left to right, data are shown for 1990 and 2015 (historical data), and for different scenarios for 2030 or 2050. Results are shown for the world and the various regions, as well as international bunkers (drop-down menu). The second configuration shows the same, but broken down by country (colours), while different emission sources can be chosen in the drop-down menu.

CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels form the lion’s share of all emissions and have the highest reductions in mitigation scenarios. Options also exist for reducing CO2 emissions in the agriculture, forestry and other land-use () sectors. Non-CO2 emissions (CH4 and N2O) from agriculture are somewhat difficult to abate. More details on tracking Nationally Determined Contributions and national policies can be found on the PBL Climate Pledge NDC tool.

Depletion of carbon budgets

Depletion of remaining carbon budgets (cumulative CO2-emissions, GtCO2). When the scenario line crosses 0, the carbon budget is depleted by the emissions of that scenario. Different carbon budgets, corresponding to different warming levels, can be selected in the drop-down menu, as well as different regions.

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 throughout the rest of the century, given a certain probability of achieving the target. It should be noted that carbon budgets are - especially for ambitious climate targets.

The IPCC’s fifth assessment report (AR5) summarised the remaining carbon budgets for the 2011-2100 period as follows: 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, and the 1.5 °C budget has a range around 400 GtCO2. These numbers were used in the scenario analysis. The recent IPCC’s special report on 1.5 °C (SR1.5) has revised those budgets to higher numbers based on different definitions, allowing for slightly more flexibility.

In most scenarios, the 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 effort 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 effort sharing rules. Under most scenarios, carbon budgets are already exceeded in the first half of this century. However, in the second half of the century, may compensate for any overshoot, so as to still meet the target.

When do country emissions peak or go to net zero?

For different scenarios and countries, this graph shows on the left end of the bar, projected timing of peak emissions (when emissions reach their maximum), and on the right end of the bar, projected timing of net zero emissions. The drop-down menu enables selection of all Kyoto greenhouse gases or CO2 only.

In addition to the temperature targets, the Paris Agreement also indicates that emissions need 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 peak year and net zero 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 potential to create negative emissions. Note that the scenarios indicate the peak years based on cost-optimal implementation in different models. This means that they are indicative for the potential for emission reduction (and not necessary for who is paying for these reductions). The wider the line, the smoother the transition will be. On the other hand, a short line between both points indicates a very steep transition from the moment of peak emissions to the moment of net zero emissions.

The rate of decarbonisation

Projected change in carbon intensity (%/year) for the various scenarios. With the drop-down, either GHG intensity (greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP in purchasing power parity terms) or carbon intensity (CO2 emissions, excluding AFOLU, per unit of GDP) can be selected, as well as different regions.

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 purchasing power parity terms, PPP). 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

Change in policy coverage by type of policy (strategies and legislation, GHG targets, renewable energy targets, and energy efficiency targets) between 2007 and 2007. Different configurations can be shown: when World is selected as a region in the drop-down menu, the graph shows the global share of countries with such policies (first option in the ‘share’ drop-down), the global share of total population covered by such policies (second option) or the global share of total GHG emissions covered by such policies (third option). When a region is selected in the drop-down menu, these shares represent regional rather than global shares. The Countries tab, finally, shows a world map with policy coverage per policy type, per country, and for 2007, 2012, and 2017.

The Climate Policy Database initiated by the NewClimate Institute and further developed as part of the CD-LINKS and ENGAGE projects 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 (Iacobuta et al., 2018).

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?

The share of non-fossil energy in the electricity, buildings and transport sectors is shown to measure innovation progress. With the drop-down menus, different regions and years can be selected.

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-emissions 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 achieve net zero CO2 emissions 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 as the percentage of implemented non-CO2 emitting technologies in total energy use, 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 IMAGE model.

The investment gaps

Investments (in billion 2015 US dollars per year) are shown for two categories: carbon (or fossil technologies) and low-carbon (or non-fossil technologies). The current national policies and NDC scenarios are compared to the 2 °C and 1.5 °C scenarios. Different regions can be selected in the drop-down menu.

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 (McCollum et al, 2018). 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 scenario, and may increase, relative to the ‘no-policy scenario’. In addition, total investments in renewables will need to significantly grow, in the period between 2010 and 2050.

Synergies with climate policies for deforestation and air pollution

The first tab shows air pollutant emissions, while the second shows deforestation. Under Air pollution, different pollutants can be selected: black carbon (Mt BC per year), organic carbon (Mt OC per year), and sulphur (Mt SO2 per year). Different regions can be selected with the other drop-down menu. Deforestation shows the forest land cover in million hectares, for different regions (drop-down menu).

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.

Air pollution is a major cause of health loss, caused for a large part by PM2.5 (particulate matter), ozone, NOx and SO2 emissions. Black carbon (BC) and Organic carbon (OC) are a major component of PM2.5. Fossil fuel combustion is a major cause of emission of air pollutants. Policies aimed at reducing short-lived climate forcers (SLCF), such as BC and SO2, are complementary to rather than substitutes for policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which shows that carefully looking at the various relationships is important.

Conservation of forests and restoration of degraded land can contribute to protecting terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15) and mitigating climate change (SDG13). 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 figures present a set of scenarios:

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

In the No new policies scenario, it is assumed that no new policies are implemented after the base year. For most models, this scenario is based on the SSP2 scenario (Shared Socioeconomic Pathway). 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 currently implemented policies. A description of the main assumptions can be found in Roelfsema et al.

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 Bridge scenario assumes that certain good practice policies, which have shown to be effective in some countries, will be implemented globally from 2020 until 2030. After 2030, the bridge scenario transitions to a 2 °C scenario following a cost-effective pathway. A distinction is made between low/medium income and high income countries in terms of timing and stringency of good practice policy targets. The set of policies was defined in dialogue with national model teams, granting a more realistic scenario narrative.

The scenarios covering the climate targets are based on the CD-LINKS project. They include a 2 °C (high probability) and 2 °C (medium probability) target, 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 2011 to 2100.

The 2 °C delay scenario assumes implementation of NDCs until 2030, followed by 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) scenario assumes (cost-effective) deep reduction measures in line with the 1.5 °C temperature limit, and this is represented by a 400 Gt CO2 carbon budget over the period 2011 to 2100.


We gratefully thank the contribution of all CD-LINKS and COMMIT teams in creating the underlying data. CD-LINKS was a project funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. COMMIT is a project funded by the European Union’s DG CLIMA and EuropeAid under grant agreement No. 21020701/2017/770447/SER/CLIMA.C.1 EuropeAid/138417/DH/SER/MulitOC (COMMIT). Also the contribution of the PBL team on data visualization and the financial support of Climate Works for this tool are gratefully acknowledged.

Go to Center for Climate Risk and Opportunity Management Southest Asia and Pacific
Go to Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Go to E3Modelling
Go to Environment and Climate Change Canada
Go to RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics & the Environment
Go to Energy Research Institute (ERI)
Go to Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment
Go to Higher School of Economics - National Research University
Go to IGES (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies)
Go to International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Go to Institut Teknologi Bandung
Go to Joint Research Centre
Go to Coppe UFRJ
Go to National Institute for Environmental Studies
Go to Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Go to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Go to The Energy and Resources Institute
Go to the University of Seoul
Go to the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency


When using or exporting figures and tables from the global stocktake explorer, please cite as shown below:

Mark Roelfsema, Detlef van Vuuren, Allard Warrink, Mathijs Harmsen, Heleen van Soest, Gabriela Iacobuta, Andries Hof, David McCollum. The Global Stocktake. Keeping track of implementing the Paris Agreement. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2020.

For questions or comments about this website, please contact: