Need more on carbon footprints, stresses UN report

United Nations, Feb. 27:

The newest pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions are falling far short of what’s needed to limit global warming to what the Paris climate accord seeks, a new United Nations report finds.

So the UN’s climate chief is telling nations to go back and try harder.

Most countries especially top carbon polluters China, United States and India missed the December 31 deadline for submitting official emission-cutting targets for November’s climate negotiations in Scotland.

Friday’s report provides an incomplete snapshot of the world’s efforts: The world’s pledges so far are only enough to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to less than 1 per cent below 2010 levels by 2030.

The world has to cut carbon pollution 45 per cent below 2010 levels to achieve the more stringent official Paris goal of limiting future warming to another half a degree (0.3 degrees Celsius) from now, U.N. officials said.

We are very, very far from where we need to be, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said. What we need to put on the table is much more radical and much more transformative than we have been doing until now.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report a red alert for our planet. UN officials applauded the more than 120 nations, including the US and China, that have made longer-term goals of net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

But those same nations must translate long-term talk into the immediate action that people and the planet so desperately need, Guterres said.

Instead of limiting the world to only 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming since pre-industrial times the more stringent of two Paris accord goals the data shows that world is headed to close to 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and a global catastrophe if this is not curtailed quickly, said Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, a private group that tracks countries’ emissions targets.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement had nations submit voluntary targets for how much heat-trapping gases they would spew by 2025 and update them every five years.

With the big pandemic-delayed climate negotiations in Glasgow set for later this year, nations are supposed to submit updated and tougher goals for 2030.

The US, the second biggest carbon polluter behind China, promises its goal will be announced before a special Earth Day summit in April.

, , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *