The United Nations published on Friday a report on plans for countries’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As UN chief general Antonio Guterres warned, according to this document, the world is on a “catastrophic path” to global warming by 2.7 degrees Celsius, which is well above the assumptions of the 2015 Paris Agreement. He called on governments to pursue greater reductions.
The assessment of the national commitments of 191 countries published on Friday “shows that the world is on a catastrophic path to a warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius,” announced UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He added that according to this report, greenhouse gas emissions will increase by almost 16 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
According to Guterres, scientists are alarming that the world must further reduce gas emissions if the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement is to be achieved, i.e. limiting the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C compared to the pre-industrial era and keeping it at 1, 5 degrees C.
– Every extra fraction of a degree will multiply the dramatic consequences. We need a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 to be carbon-neutral by the middle of the century, said the head of the United Nations. He stressed that, according to experts, the Earth has already warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times.
Without more ambitious commitments from national governments, Guterres said, further global warming will have far more devastating effects than those currently plaguing people around the world, such as hurricanes, floods and fires.
Climate change. UN report
The UN report points out that 113 countries submitted by the end of July updates of their emission targets. Their commitments would result in a 12% reduction in emissions in these countries by the end of the decade, but this figure could double if the promises and assurances of some governments to move towards carbon neutrality by 2050 are translated into action.
“Leaders must engage in frank discussion, fueled not only by a very legitimate desire to protect national interests, but also by an equally important goal of contributing to human well-being,” said UN Climate Chief Patricia Espinosa, whose office prepared the report. “We just don’t have any time to waste,” she added.
Espinosa explained that some public promises, such as China’s pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2060, have yet to be formally submitted to the UN, and so have not been included in the report.
On the other hand, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Mexico, countries which together with China are responsible for half of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, have made updated promises, which, however, analysts believe will result in higher emissions than those assumed in previous projects.
UN head: It’s time for leaders to take a stand and keep their promises
The issue of the threat of global warming will be dealt with at the UN COP26 conference, which will be held in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12. COP26 President Alok Sharma announced that “without action by all countries, especially the largest economies, our efforts may be in vain.”
– The fight against climate change will only be successful if everyone unites in the pursuit of greater ambition, cooperation and credibility. It is time for leaders to take a stand and keep their promises, otherwise people in all countries will pay a heavy price, concluded Guterres.
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