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Journal Article

NDCmitiQ v1.0.0: a tool to quantify and analyse greenhouse gas mitigation targets


Günther,  Annika
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Gütschow,  Johannes
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Jeffrey,  Mairi Louise
External Organizations;

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Günther, A., Gütschow, J., Jeffrey, M. L. (2021): NDCmitiQ v1.0.0: a tool to quantify and analyse greenhouse gas mitigation targets. - Geoscientific Model Development, 14, 9, 5695-5730.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_26120
Parties to the Paris Agreement (PA, 2015) outline their planned contributions towards achieving the PA temperature goal to “hold […] the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 ∘C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 ∘C” (Article 2.1.a, PA) in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Most NDCs include targets to mitigate national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which need quantifications to assess i.a. whether the current NDCs collectively put us on track to reach the PA temperature goals or the gap in ambition to do so. We implemented the new open-source tool “NDCmitiQ” to quantify GHG mitigation targets defined in the NDCs for all countries with quantifiable targets on a disaggregated level and to create corresponding national and global emissions pathways. In light of the 5-year update cycle of NDCs and the global stocktake, the quantification of NDCs is an ongoing task for which NDCmitiQ can be used, as calculations can easily be updated upon submission of new NDCs. In this paper, we describe the methodologies behind NDCmitiQ and quantification challenges we encountered by addressing a wide range of aspects, including target types and the input data from within NDCs; external time series of national emissions, population, and GDP; uniform approach vs. country specifics; share of national emissions covered by NDCs; how to deal with the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) component and the conditionality of pledges; and establishing pathways from single-year targets. For use in NDCmitiQ, we furthermore construct an emissions data set from the baseline emissions provided in the NDCs. Example use cases show how the tool can help to analyse targets on a national, regional, or global scale and to quantify uncertainties caused by a lack of clarity in the NDCs. Results confirm that the conditionality of targets and assumptions about economic growth dominate uncertainty in mitigated emissions on a global scale, which are estimated as 48.9–56.1 Gt CO2 eq. AR4 for 2030 (10th/90th percentiles, median: 51.8 Gt CO2 eq. AR4; excluding LULUCF and bunker fuels; submissions until 17 April 2020 and excluding the USA). We estimate that 77 % of global 2017 emissions were emitted from sectors and gases covered by these NDCs. Addressing all updated NDCs submitted by 31 December 2020 results in an estimated 45.6–54.1 Gt CO2 eq. AR4 (median: 49.6 Gt CO2 eq. AR4, now including the USA again) and increased coverage.