November 30, 2022

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Existing emissions pledges will lead to catastrophic climate collapse, says UN | greenhouse gas emissions

Pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions will raise the world temperature by 2.5 degrees Celsius, a level that would doom the world to a catastrophic climate collapse, according to the United nations.

Only a few countries have significantly beefed up their commitments in the past year, though I promised to do so at the UN Climate Summit Cop26 In Glasgow last November. Deeper cutting is needed to reduce overheating 1.5°C above pre-industrial levelswhich would avoid the worst ravages of severe weather.

Simon Steele, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “This is not going far enough, fast enough. This is not close to the range of cuts required to put us on track to 1.5°C. National governments must set new targets now. implementation over the next eight years.

Emission reduction plans presented by states in Glasgow were insufficient to achieve the 1.5°C target, so they agreed on a “ratchet” mechanism to tighten their targets year after year. However, few governments have updated their emissions plans in line with 1.5°C.

The United Nations calculated on Wednesday that plans presented by governments would see the temperature rise between 2.1C and 2.9C, with a best estimate of around 2.5C. Steele said this represented a “marginal” improvement in terms of the 2.7C temperature rise that would have followed commitments made in Glasgow.

He said more action is needed from the private sector as well as governments. “It’s not just about words on paper,” he said, “it’s about getting things done.” We need to see more private sector and non-state actors [such as local governments]. “

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Australia has greatly improved its national plan, but only 24 countries have submitted new national plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs .)), since Cop26. Many of those countries – including the UK and Egypt, Cop27 Summit Host Starting in just over a week – it delivered new NDCs that weren’t much stronger than their previous plans.

The NDC synthesis report showed that current NDCs will lead to an increase in emissions of about 10.6% by 2030 over 2010 levels. This is an improvement over last year’s assessment, which found that countries were on a path to increasing emissions by 13.7% by 2030 compared to at 2010 levels.

but the Intergovernmental panel on climate change He estimated that greenhouse gas emissions must fall by about 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, to give the world a chance to stay within 1.5°C.

“What this shows is that some progress has been made,” said Stiell, a former environment minister for the island nation of Grenada before taking on the role of the United Nations this summer. [since Cop26] But this progress is very insufficient. We are moving forward but every year is a critical year.”

He added: “In Glasgow last year, all countries agreed to review and strengthen their climate plans. The fact that only 24 new or updated climate plans have been submitted since Cop26 is disappointing. Government decisions and actions must reflect the level of urgency, and the gravity of the threats we face, And the short time we have left to avoid the devastating consequences of runaway climate change.”

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A second United Nations report on long-term, low-emissions development strategies, also released on Wednesday, examined plans by many countries to reach net zero emissions by or around mid-century. These plans showed that emissions could be about 68% lower in 2050 than they were in 2019, if all long-term strategies were fully implemented on time.

Such as Climate responds to cumulative emissionsThe world could still exceed the 1.5°C temperature limit even if long-term plans were met, which is why NDCs – focused on emissions for this decade – are so important.

Particularly in developed countries, some governments have said they believe their current nationally determined contributions are strong enough and that other major emitters – including China, the world’s largest emitter, and oil producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia – need to increase emissions.

with Fossil fuel prices have risen since the Russian invasion of UkraineMany governments have tried to increase gas supplies and some have turned to coal to solve the energy crisis.

Niklas Hohn, of the New Climate Institute, has called for increased renewable energy generation. “Despite the explosive growth in wind and solar energy over the past 20 years, renewables have not kept pace with the increasing energy demand,” he said. “To decarbonize society, the share of zero-carbon sources in electricity generation must accelerate dramatically to tackle the climate crisis. This can only be achieved through an appropriate and rapid phase-out of fossil energy.”

“These reports are alarming,” said Taryn Fransen, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute Progress on climate commitments It has slowed to a crawl since last year’s Glasgow climate summit. While new targets that have come from countries like Australia and Indonesia provide some momentum, entire national climate targets are putting the world on the right track toward a temperature of 2.4-2.6°C, which is dangerously high.”

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Prospects for the UN COP27 Climate Summit, hosted by the Egyptian government, which will start in Sharm El-Sheikh on November 6, are He looks at her with increasing concern. Geopolitical tensions from the Ukraine war, energy and food price and cost-of-living crises around the world, and a chill between the US and China all cast a shadow over the talks as the prospect of significant progress in cutting emissions remains slim.

John Kerry, Special Envoy to the President of the United States on Climate, Joe Biden, Use File Interview with the Guardian To urge China to return to the negotiating table. “We need to get China,” he said.

Talks participants hope at least progress will be made on climate finance to help poor countries reduce their emissions and deal with the effects of severe weather.