Global roll-out of comprehensive policy measures may aid in bridging emissions gap

Heleen L. van Soest*, Lara Aleluia Reis, Luiz Bernardo Baptista, Christoph Bertram, Jacques Després, Laurent Drouet, Michel den Elzen, Panagiotis Fragkos, Oliver Fricko, Shinichiro Fujimori, Neil Grant, Mathijs Harmsen, Gokul Iyer, Kimon Keramidas, Alexandre C. Köberle, Elmar Kriegler, Aman Malik, Shivika Mittal, Ken Oshiro, Keywan RiahiMark Roelfsema, Bas van Ruijven, Roberto Schaeffer, Diego Silva Herran, Massimo Tavoni, Gamze Unlu, Toon Vandyck, Detlef P. van Vuuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Closing the emissions gap between Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the global emissions levels needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s climate goals will require a comprehensive package of policy measures. National and sectoral policies can help fill the gap, but success stories in one country cannot be automatically replicated in other countries. They need to be adapted to the local context. Here, we develop a new Bridge scenario based on nationally relevant, short-term measures informed by interactions with country experts. These good practice policies are rolled out globally between now and 2030 and combined with carbon pricing thereafter. We implement this scenario with an ensemble of global integrated assessment models. We show that the Bridge scenario closes two-thirds of the emissions gap between NDC and 2 °C scenarios by 2030 and enables a pathway in line with the 2 °C goal when combined with the necessary long-term changes, i.e. more comprehensive pricing measures after 2030. The Bridge scenario leads to a scale-up of renewable energy (reaching 52%–88% of global electricity supply by 2050), electrification of end-uses, efficiency improvements in energy demand sectors, and enhanced afforestation and reforestation. Our analysis suggests that early action via good-practice policies is less costly than a delay in global climate cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6419
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Early online date5 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study benefited from the financial support of the European Union via the COMMIT project (Climate pOlicy assessment and Mitigation Modeling to Integrate national and global Transition Pathways), financed by Directorate General Climate Action (DG CLIMA) and EuropeAid under grant agreement No. 21020701/2017/770447/SER/CLIMA.C.1 EuropeAid/138417/DH/SER/MulitOC (COMMIT).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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