UNEP GEAS February 2014 Bulletin - Emissions and Adaptation Gaps: Can we bridge the cracks in climate policy?
On May 9, 2013, the daily mean concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii surpassed 400 parts per million — the highest recorded level since measurements began in 1958 (Figure 1). Since then, seasonally corrected monthly mean concentrations of CO2 have continued to rise. The emissions gap — the difference between the emissions reductions pledged by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the reductions needed to stay within two degrees Celsius (2°C) warming — is increasing. With it, the adaptation gap — the difference between the level of funding and the capacities needed for adaptation and the amount committed to the task — is also increasing1. In order to bridge these gaps, it is critical to fill holes in funding, knowledge, technology, capacity and trust.