UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that failure to cut global emissions is putting the world on a “disastrous” path of 2.7°C.
His comments come in the form of a UN report on global emissions pledges that are found rather than the cuts needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change, where they will see a “significant increase”.
This shows that “the world is on a catastrophic path to 2.7 degrees of warming,” Guterres said in a statement.
This number would break the Paris Climate Agreement’s temperature targets, which aim for warming below 2°C and preferably 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
“Failure to achieve this goal will be measured in the terrible loss of life and livelihood,” said Mr. Guterres.
Under the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, countries committed to cutting emissions, as well as providing assistance to countries most vulnerable to climate impact.
But humanity’s explosive “red code” from the world’s preeminent body on global warming in August warned that the Earth’s average temperature would be 1.5°C higher around 2030, a decade earlier than projected three years ago. years only.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says emissions must be about 45% lower by 2030 than 2010 levels to achieve the 1.5°C target.
The United Nations said current pledges from 191 countries would see emissions increase by 16 percent at the end of the decade compared to 2010, a level that would eventually raise global temperature by 2.7 degrees Celsius.
“The overall figures for greenhouse gas emissions are moving in the wrong direction,” UN Climate Coordinator Patricia Espinosa told a news conference.
But she said there was a “glimmer of hope” from 113 countries that had updated their pledges, including the United States and the European Union.
These new pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, will see their emissions cut 12 percent by 2030 compared to 2010.
With the temperature rising just 1.1°C so far, the world has seen a torrent of deadly weather disasters intensified by climate change in recent months, from heat waves melting asphalt to flash floods and uncontrollable wildfires.
The Paris Agreement included a “ratchet” mechanism under which signatories agreed to a rolling five-year review of their climate pledges in which they are supposed to show greater ambition to act.
But many major emitters haven’t released new targets yet.
This includes China, the world’s largest emitter, which has said it will reach net zero emissions by 2060, but has not submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions that would determine emissions reductions by 2030.
Meanwhile, the new targets from Brazil and Mexico were actually weaker than those they offered five years ago, according to an analysis by the World Resources Institute.
Mohamed Addo, who leads the Power Shift Africa think tank, said the UN report was a “blatant indictment” of global climate progress, particularly by G20 nations, which are responsible for the lion’s share of emissions.
“They are the countries that caused this crisis and yet they failed to show the leadership required to get us out of this mess,” he said.
It’s time for delivery
Another issue on the table at the Glasgow summit is the unfulfilled pledge of rich nations to provide $100 billion in annual climate finance from 2020 to poor nations, which bear the greatest impact of warming.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Friday that progress was “disappointing,” with developing countries receiving $79.6 billion in 2019.
She warned that the target for 2020, which has shaken the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be missed.
“The fight against climate change will only succeed if everyone comes together to promote more ambition, cooperation and more credibility,” Mr. Guterres said.
“It is time for leaders to stand up and get done, or else the people of all countries will pay a tragic price.”
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