UN: Climate disaster is getting more certain


The world is moving towards a climate disaster, the UN warned in a report that showed how far countries actually are from the stated and insufficient climate plans.

A report by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) warns of a wide gap between the actions needed to limit the rise in global temperatures to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and what countries are doing and what they have promised to do.

Current climate policies lead to warming of 2.8 degrees Celsius, and countries’ plans for the next decade would lead to a temperature increase of 2.4 to 2.6 degrees Celsius.

“The time for incremental change is over and only a fundamental transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate catastrophe,” warned UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

There are more and more frequent floods, storms and forest fires

Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries pledged to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to well below 2 and 1.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The world is already facing increasingly frequent floods, storms, heat waves and forest fires, and if the 1.5 degree warming limit is exceeded, even more devastating extreme weather events are expected.

The climate plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), are estimated to reduce global emissions by between five and ten percent by 2030, or three to six billion tonnes, compared to current policies.

But another 20 to 23 billion tons of emissions are needed by 2030 to meet the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, or 12 to 15 billion tons to stay within 2 degrees Celsius.

UN chief: We need to bridge the gap before climate disaster hits us all

Countries have veered off track to achieve their globally inadequate climate plans, warns a report released ahead of the latest international climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

UN chief Antonio Guterres called on developed countries to be leaders in more ambitious climate plans and end their dependence on fossil fuels, and for the World Bank to get more involved in the fight against climate change.

“We must bridge the emissions gap before climate catastrophe engulfs us all,” Guterres concluded.


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