Taking stock of national climate policies to evaluate implementation of the Paris Agreement

Mark Roelfsema*, Heleen L. van Soest, Mathijs Harmsen, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Christoph Bertram, Michel den Elzen, Niklas Höhne, Gabriela Iacobuta, Volker Krey, Elmar Kriegler, Gunnar Luderer, Keywan Riahi, Falko Ueckerdt, Jacques Després, Laurent Drouet, Johannes Emmerling, Stefan Frank, Oliver Fricko, Matthew Gidden, Florian HumpenöderDaniel Huppmann, Shinichiro Fujimori, Kostas Fragkiadakis, Keii Gi, Kimon Keramidas, Alexandre C. Köberle, Lara Aleluia Reis, Pedro Rochedo, Roberto Schaeffer, Ken Oshiro, Zoi Vrontisi, Wenying Chen, Gokul C. Iyer, Jae Edmonds, Maria Kannavou, Kejun Jiang, Ritu Mathur, George Safonov, Saritha Sudharmma Vishwanathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Many countries have implemented national climate policies to accomplish pledged Nationally Determined Contributions and to contribute to the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. In 2023, the global stocktake will assess the combined effort of countries. Here, based on a public policy database and a multi-model scenario analysis, we show that implementation of current policies leaves a median emission gap of 22.4 to 28.2 GtCO2eq by 2030 with the optimal pathways to implement the well below 2 °C and 1.5 °C Paris goals. If Nationally Determined Contributions would be fully implemented, this gap would be reduced by a third. Interestingly, the countries evaluated were found to not achieve their pledged contributions with implemented policies (implementation gap), or to have an ambition gap with optimal pathways towards well below 2 °C. This shows that all countries would need to accelerate the implementation of policies for renewable technologies, while efficiency improvements are especially important in emerging countries and fossil-fuel-dependent countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2096
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


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