People, Environment

Climate Pledges Fall Short

Climate Pledges Fall ShortClimate Pledges Fall Short

Greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 could still be up to 12 billion tons more than the level needed to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius this century, a United Nations report estimated on Friday.

The sixth annual UN Environment Programme report analyzed the impact of countries’ climate policies and emission pledges ahead of a global climate deal to be signed in Paris next month and whether they are enough to limit global temperature increases to within 2 degrees Celsius this century, Reuters reported.

To stay within the 2 degree limit, global emissions levels should not exceed 42 billion tons in 2030.

However, even if all countries’ conditional and unconditional plans for emission cuts are implemented fully, emissions could rise to 54 billion tons in 2030, leaving a gap of 12 billion tons, the report said.

“The current (pledges), combined with policies over the last few years, present a real increase in ambition levels and demonstrate an historic level of commitment and engagement by member states in tackling this major global challenge,” UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said in a statement.

“However, they are not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to the recommended level of 2 degrees Celsius this century, and thus head off the worst impacts of climate change.”

Last week, the United Nations said plans by around 150 countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions were not enough to limit a rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees, a threshold seen by scientists as avoiding the most devastating effects of climate change.

The plans, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, will be the building blocks for a UN deal expected at a summit set for Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to fight global warming in the years from 2020.

Poorer nations, which might be the most vulnerable to climate change, have said negotiators should not abandon hope of limiting temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees even if targets on the table in Paris are less ambitious.