UN warns world set for 2.7-degree rise on today’s emissions pledges

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As a group, G20 countries, which represent 80 per cent of global emissions, are not on track to achieve their original or new 2030 pledges.

“If there is no meaningful reduction of emissions in the next decade, we will have lost forever the possibility to reach 1.5 degrees,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a press briefing.

“It is absolutely essential that all G20 countries present before Glasgow or in Glasgow (pledges) that are compatible with 1.5 degrees,” he added.

The clock is ticking

Latest UN data shows 143 countries, accounting for around 57 per cent of global emissions, have submitted new or updated emissions cut plans ahead of COP26 and their total emissions are estimated to be around 9 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030 if implemented fully.

But if all pledges by 192 countries under the Paris Agreement are taken together, an increase of around 16 per cent in global emissions is expected by 2030 compared to 2010, which would lead to warming of around 2.7 degrees.

China and India, which are together responsible for around 30 per cent of global emissions, have not yet made enhanced pledges.

Over the last 11 years, policies have been put in place which will lower annual emissions by 11 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 equivalent by 2030, compared to what would have happened without these policies, the report said.

However, fossil fuel production is not slowing at the rate needed, with major economies set to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas in 2030 than is consistent with meeting climate goals.

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“On current progress, we’ll close the 2030 emissions gap sometime in the 2080s,” Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the report, said.

By 2030, to reach the 1.5-degree limit, annual greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by an extra 28 Gt, or be halved from current levels of nearly 60 Gt, over and above what is promised in updated pledges and other 2030 commitments, UNEP said.

For the 2-degree limit, an additional 13 Gt cut in annual emissions is needed by 2030.

“We have eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen said.

“The clock is ticking loudly.”

Reuters

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