- NINA CHESTNEY
London, United Kingdom
Current commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions put the planet on track for an average temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius this century, a United Nations report said on Tuesday, in another stern warning ahead of the critical climate talks.
Governments will be in the spotlight at COP26 next week to meet a deadline this year to commit to more ambitious reduction commitments, in what could be the last chance to put the world on the right track. way to limit warming to less than 2C above the pre-industrial era. levels and ideally at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Icebergs are seen at the mouth of the Jakobshavn Ice Fjord near Ilulissat, Greenland on September 16. Photo: Reuters / Hannibal Hanschke.
As extreme weather events, from forest fires to floods, hit countries around the world, a UN report released in August warned that global warming from greenhouse gas emissions could exceed 1, 5 degree over the next two decades.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday it was “touch and go” whether the most important UN round of talks since the Paris Agreement in 2015 would secure the agreements needed to tackle climate change.
And the United Nations World Meteorological Organization said Sunday ahead of the two-week event that begins in Glasgow, Scotland, that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record high last year and the world is ” far off track ”to limit the rise in temperatures.
The annual United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) ‘Emissions Gap’ report, which measures the gap between predicted emissions and those consistent with limiting the rise in temperature this century, as agreed in the Paris agreement, said the updated commitments only reduce emissions planned for 2030 by 7.5 percent more than previous commitments.
If this continued throughout this century, it would lead to a warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius, slightly lower than the three degrees Celsius predicted by UNEP in its latest report. A 30 percent reduction is needed to limit warming to two degrees and a 55 percent reduction is needed to limit to 1.5 degrees.
He said current net zero commitments could limit warming to around 2.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, but the 2030 commitments so far do not put major emitters on a clear path. towards that.
As a group, the G20 countries, which account for 80% of global emissions, are not on track to meet their original or new commitments for 2030.
“If there is no significant reduction in emissions over the next decade, we will have lost forever the possibility of reaching 1.5 degrees,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during ‘a press briefing.
“It is absolutely essential that all G20 countries are present before Glasgow or Glasgow [pledges] compatible with 1.5 degrees Celsius, “he added.
The clock is turning
The latest UN data shows that 143 countries, accounting for around 57% of global emissions, submitted new or updated emission reduction plans before COP26 and their total emissions are estimated at around 9% of global emissions levels. 2010 by 2030 if fully implemented.
But if all the commitments made by 192 countries under the Paris Agreement are taken together, an increase of around 16% in global emissions is expected by 2030 compared to 2010, which would lead to global warming. ‘about 2.7 degrees Celsius.
China and India, which together are responsible for around 30% of global emissions, have yet to make stronger pledges.
A car drives near wind turbines at a power plant near Yumen, Gansu province, China September 29, 2020. PHOTO: Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins / File photo.
Over the past 11 years, policies have been put in place that will reduce annual emissions by 11 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030, compared to what would have happened without those policies, according to the report.
However, fossil fuel production is not slowing at the necessary pace, with major economies expected to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas by 2030 compared to climate targets.
“In terms of current progress, we will close the 2030 emissions gap into the 2080s,” said Myles Allen, professor of geosystems science at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in The report.
By 2030, to reach the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, annual greenhouse gas emissions must fall by an additional 28 Gt, or be halved from current levels of nearly 60 Gt, at- beyond what is promised in updated pledges and other 2030 commitments, UNEP mentioned.
For the two degree Celsius limit, an additional 13 Gt reduction in annual emissions is needed by 2030.
“We have eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately make the cuts,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.
“The clock is ticking loudly.”
– Additional reporting by EMMA FARGE in Geneva, Switzerland.