Climate pledges still ‘nowhere’ enough for 1.5C: UN

The United Nations said on Wednesday that current global climate commitments to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius are out of line and will lead to “catastrophic” warming of a world already doomed by floods, heat waves and storms.

In a report released just a week before the high-risk climate talks, the United Nations Climate Change Organization said joint commitments from nearly 200 countries could warm the Earth by around 2.5 ° C. compared to the pre-industrial levels of the turn of the century. To keep on track.

With the planet already suffering from extreme weather conditions after a 1.2C warming, experts say the world is not acting urgently enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are still a long way from the scale and speed of the emission reductions needed to move to a 1.5 ° C world,” said Simon Steele, UN head of climate change.

“To keep this goal alive, national governments must now strengthen their climate action plans and implement them over the next eight years.”
UN climate experts said emissions – from 2010 levels – must decrease by 45% by 2030 to reach the more ambitious 1.5 ° C target of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The United Nations said current commitments from governments around the world will actually increase emissions by 10.6% by 2030 from the 2010 baseline. This is a slight improvement over a similar one-year analysis. does.
UN chief Antonio Guterres insisted that the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 ° C was still within reach, but warned that the current trajectory of countries’ climate commitments is “catastrophic”.
“We absolutely need to start cutting emissions now,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
– ‘dark’ –
When nations gathered in Glasgow last year for historic climate talks, they agreed to step up national climate commitments to reduce carbon pollution and increase financial flows to vulnerable developing countries. .
But only 24 countries had updated their plans at the time of the report, which Steele called “disappointing.”
“Government decisions and actions must reflect the level of urgency, the severity of the threats we face and the time we have left to escape the devastating consequences of uncontrolled climate change,” he said. .
It called on governments to review and strengthen their plans to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris temperature targets ahead of the United Nations climate meeting, which will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to November 18.
Nations are in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a wider global crisis of hunger, energy prices and the cost of living, exacerbated by extreme weather conditions.
Research from the World Resources Institute shows that the world must reduce emissions six times faster by 2030 than current trends to hit the 1.5 ° C warming limit.
WRI’s Taryn Franson said Australia and Indonesia have offered “some momentum” to carry forward their climate commitments since the latest UN climate talks, with further announcements this year from countries such as the EU, the Turkey and Vietnam. With any luck.
He said the world’s second largest emissions producer, the United States, took a “big step” this year with measures in its new comprehensive climate and inflation bill and a decision to reduce methane pollution. caused by global warming from China, the largest emitter. Asked to set specific goals. ,

– ‘Transformative response’ –

A second UN report released Wednesday looked at long-term “net zero” mid-century climate goals proposed by dozens of countries.
It found that these countries’ greenhouse gas emissions would be 68% lower by 2050 than in 2019, if all strategies were fully implemented.
“This is a serious moment and we are in a race against time,” said Sameh Shouqi, Egyptian foreign minister and president-elect of the upcoming UN COP27 talks.
The report comes when the United Nations World Meteorological Organization warned that global warming levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide all hit new records last year.
This has raised particular concerns about the “extraordinary” surge of potent methane, which is also released through natural processes in the fossil fuel, waste and agriculture sectors.
The WMO said it is “unclear” what caused the largest increase in concentrations year over year since systematic measurements began about 40 years ago, but said it appeared to come from both human and biological sources.
Scientists warn that any rise above 1.5 ° C risks the collapse of the ecosystem and the triggering of irreversible changes in the climate system.
Demands have grown for wealthy polluters to pay “damage and harm” to vulnerable countries, with the hardest impacts on countries least responsible for fossil fuel emissions.
In a key report on climate impacts and vulnerabilities this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that time was almost up to ensure a “living future” for all. .
This report was signed by the same governments that would resume talks in Egypt.

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