Latest National Climate Plans Still Fall Far Short, U.N. Report Warns


WASHINGTON — The latest plans by the nations of the world to tackle climate change over the next decade fall far short of what’s needed to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures, according to a United Nations report released Tuesday.

In the run-up to a major U.N. climate summit in Glasgow next week, a number of governments have updated their pledges under the Paris climate agreement to do more to curb their planet-warming emissions between now and 2030. They include Argentina, Britain, Canada, the European Union, South Africa and the United States.

But those new pledges, the report found, would collectively produce just one-seventh of the additional emissions cuts needed this decade to help limit total global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. That’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the dangers of global warming — such as deadly heat waves, water shortages, crop failures and ecosystem collapse — grow immensely. (The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius since preindustrial times.)

And that assumes every country actually follows through on its promises. The report found that many governments still haven’t put in place policies or laws to achieve their stated near-term goals.

“The world has to wake up to the imminent peril we face as a species,” Inger Andersen, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a statement. “To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly.”



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