How can Paris Agreement commitments be improved now to close the gap to 1.5°C?

In 2015, the Paris Agreement set a global goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit that warming level to 1.5°C. Governments pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to play their part in fighting climate change and achieving this goal. But their pledges (called Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) are not yet enough. How much more do governments need to do on climate to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach?

How much to strengthen climate action?
Move the sliders to strengthen countries' climate action pledges and see how global emissions and warming levels change.
Pushing the slider to 50% decreases emissions by 50% compared to the country's current NDC (excluding land-use). Some countries have a pledge that is weaker than the policies that are already in place. This is indicated with red markers on the sliders. Strengthening such pledges only reduces temperature rise when they are more ambitious than current policies (i.e. when the markers are blue).

Strengthening climate action elsewhere
Move the sliders to strengthen climate action at the regional level (excluding the big emitters above)

What does this level mean for climate change impacts and risks?
Every tenth of a degree matters for climate change impacts and risks. The black line shows the level of risk from this climate action scenario for five key 'reasons for concern' identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Source: IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (Figure SPM.2)

NDC Baseline scenario

Ambition increase

Percentage share of emissions in 2030 (excluding land-use)

These pie charts show how the relative shares of the big emitters change when pledges are strengthened

Current pledges

Strengthened pledges

Percentage share of emissions in 2030 (excluding land-use)

These pie-charts show how the relative shares of major world regions' emissions change when pledges are strengthened

Current pledges

Strengthened pledges

Change in climate change impacts compared to the reference period (1991-2010)

How to use this tool

How much do climate action pledges need to be strengthened to limit warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century?

Move the sliders to increase the level of climate action for each country or region to see how this affects global emissions, global temperature rise, and the severity of climate change risks at this level of warming.

The range of values on the sliders correspond to the NDC ambition ramp-up scenarios as defined by Geiges et al. (2019). These consist of four ambition scenarios namely the minimal, incremental, significant and transformational scenarios equivalent to 10%, 20%, 35% and 50% change in emission levels lower than the current NDC levels.

To see other plots and information, you can navigate to other sections by clicking the tab menu buttons. There is also a navigation button below the plots that will take you to the second page within each section. There are several configuration options above the plots which includes a button for plot download in png format, and buttons to select which data you can see when you hover over the plot.

What this tool shows

An incremental increase in ambition in NDC targets (defined here a 20% reduction in emissions below the level implied by current pledges) would put the 1.5°C temperature goal out of reach. If consistent incremental increases in ambition were continued beyond 2030, this tool shows that warming would reach over 2°C.

Closing the ambition gap and holding warming to 1.5°C would require a transformational ramping up of ambition for the period to 2030 and beyond. The global emissions level in 2030 implied by NDCs would need to be reduced by 50%, and such near-term increases in mitigation effort would need to be part of long-term strategies that enable sustained increases in ambition over the following decades.

All countries need to increase ambition if the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal is to be met. Ignoring the need to ramp up effort in the short-term risks locking in fossil fuel-based infrastructure, thus slowing the pace of transformation and making it more costly, with a large risk of stranded assets.

See our 2019 report for more key findings from our NDC ambition work.


For more information on our work, please contact:

Claire Fyson
Climate Policy Analyst
Climate Policy Team

If you face any issues using the tool, please contact:

Emmanuel Adeleke
Student Assistant
Climate Policy Team