UN says collective pledges aren’t enough to meet climate goals

NEW YORK: The UN body on climate change said on Friday that collective pledges would not help the world meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to less disastrous levels unless the collective emission reduction target is substantially upgraded, based on an analysis of countries’ climate action commitments to date. Despite the fact that the world would need to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 to 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 to meet the Paris goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius, current pledges from all countries combined would only reduce emissions by around 12 percent during that time.

“The total global GHG emission level in 2030 is expected to be 16.3 percent higher than the 2010 level, taking into consideration the implementation of all the newest NDCs,” the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said in its synthesis report on nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are national climate plans that detail countries’ actions to mitigate climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

To prevent warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions should fall by around 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero around 2050. Similarly, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, emissions must fall by around 25% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2070. However, as the synthesis report demonstrates, the world is far from meeting the level of ambition required to prevent the worst climate outcomes.

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