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UN emissions report: Catastrophe looms as world on course for more than 3 degree spike, even if climate commitments are met


This news story was published on November 26, 2019.
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Earth’s climate
Photo by (Norman Kuring/NASA GSFC)

NEW YORK – Even if countries meet commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, leading to even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts, warns a report from the UN Environment Programme, released on Tuesday.

The annual Emissions Gap Report, which compares where greenhouse gas emissions are heading, versus where they need to be, shows that emissions need to fall by 7.6 per cent each year over the next decade, if the world is to get back on track towards the goal of limiting temperature rises to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

If the world warms by more than 1.5 degrees, we will see more frequent, and intense, climate impacts – as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has demonstrated in several hard-hitting reports – such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed in recent years.

“Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions”, said Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director.

In December 2020, countries are expected to significantly step up their climate commitments at the UN Climate Conference – COP26 – due to be held in Glasgow.

However, the urgency of the situation means, said Ms. Anderson, that they cannot wait another year: “they – and every city, region, business and individual – need to act now”.

“We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020, then stronger Nationally Determined Contributions to kick-start the major transformations of economies and societies. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated”, she added. “If we don’t do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030.”

Developed countries, the biggest emitters, must take the lead

United Nations

The UNEP report calls on all countries to reduce their emissions, and substantially increase their “Nationally Determined Contributions” (the commitments made under the Paris Agreement) in 2020, and put into place the policies to implement them.

The lead, however, must be taken by the world’s most developed economies (the G20), which contribute some 78 per cent of all emissions: currently, only five of these countries have committed to a long-term zero emissions target.

The solutions exist

The study points out that it is possible to reach the 1.5 degree goal by 2030; the technology exists, and there is increased understanding of the additional benefits of climate action, in terms of health and the economy. Many governments, cities, businesses and investors are engaged in ambitious initiatives to lower emissions.

Developing countries, which suffer disproportionately from climate change, can learn from successful efforts in developed countries, says UNEP, and they can even leapfrog them, adopting cleaner technologies at a faster rate.

The UNEP chief said that despite the figures, it was possible to avert disaster: “Because of climate procrastination which we have essentially had during these (past) 10 years, we are looking at a 7.6 per cent reduction every year” in emissions. “Is that possible? Absolutely. Will it take political will? Yes. Will we need to have the private sector lean in? Yes. But the science tells us that we can do this.”

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17 Responses to UN emissions report: Catastrophe looms as world on course for more than 3 degree spike, even if climate commitments are met

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 29, 2019 at 8:56 am

    It fascinates me how the same “weather forecasters” (prophets) that can’t predict weather beyond a couple days continues to predict gloom and doom that affects worldwide government policies and adds extreme costs and high taxes to the pockets of the peoples of this earth.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 29, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Since when does man control the weather? You think Nancy and Adam will make this an article of impeachment?

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 29, 2019 at 8:55 am

    We have listened to people DECLARING end of life as we know it for years and years. Nothing yet and there are those who continue to get richer and richer like Al Gore who said the earth is going end.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Look how many airplanes were in the air yesterday. Look at how many vehicles were on the highways yesterday. Are people, even the most vocal about climate change, willing to give up the lifestyle they are living to make a difference?

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 29, 2019 at 8:54 am

    The climate has been constantly changing for the last 4.5 billion years. The earth will be fine with or without people. The people that have bought off on climate change have become a cult and are no longer able to sort this out themselves. End of the world cults have been around since the beginning of history. This will have to run its course and burn itself out.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 27, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Al Gore told us about 30 years ago of all the bad things which were going to happen (ice caps, polar bears, under water). I often wonder if these politicians really believe this. Or just know they have to say certain things to get a certain group of voters..

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    The earth is flat.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    *Government is pushing the climate change movement for a very important reason – control.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    *Political climate extremists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joe Biden have proclaimed we only have twelve years left to save the earth. This is pure nonsense. Former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, Pat Michaels, smashed that through the twelve year threat. “It’s warmed up around one degree Celsius since 1900, and life expectancy doubled, yet that temperature ticks up another half a degree and the entire system crashes? That’s the most absurd belief.”

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    *Climate extremists are hard to follow. They tend to be consumed with outrage and emotion rather than facts. The more vocal and radical activists thrive on fear and scaring people. But, their premonitions never appear to come true. Instead, they pivot to another scare tactic with a different deadline. Climate change activists have invaded many aspects of our lives. To start, they infiltrated our educational system and indoctrinated our children. The theory of climate change is something that is not to be challenged. It’s become a bit of a religion to many people. They won’t even allow any debate. Not too long ago it was called global warming. Since temperatures didn’t skyrocket during the given timeframe, they repackaged it as climate change. Great Thunberg is a great example of this. The teen believes we are headed to “mass extinction” and “entire ecosystems are collapsing.” Children are hearing this quite frequently and of course they react by becoming panicked. We live in a world where many people don’t want to hear different opinions. Greta refuses to speak with those who aren’t panicked about the environment even those people who have scientific data that prove her wrong.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 26, 2019 at 10:22 pm

      So tell me what is wrong with trying to make the Earth a safer, more healthful place to live? We will eventually use up all the natural resources because we are consumers. More and more consumers are born into this closed environment every year. When will enough be enough? We already have millions starving, in need of health care, and mentally challenged. We don’t seem to be able to stop that by wishing it so, why not try to improve the Earth so that we all can enjoy it and be sure our grandchildren and great-grandchildren also know the Earth the way we have known it?

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        November 26, 2019 at 10:38 pm

        ” so that we all can enjoy it and be sure our grandchildren and great-grandchildren also know the Earth the way we have known it?” It will never happen.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    More bull shit. Just another way to control the masses. All the data says the earth is NOT warming up. It is getting colder.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 26, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      I would like to see all that data.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        November 26, 2019 at 10:30 pm

        Me too. Would love to see that source who claims the earth is getting colder.

  12. Avatar

    G. Reaper Reply Report comment

    November 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    THE END IS NEAR!!!!