UN calls global climate outlook “bleak”
November 26, 2019 - The UN is warning that countries will have to increase carbon-cutting goals five-fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5C.
A report by the UN Environment Programme, published days before governments gather in Madrid for an annual meeting on climate change, showed the amount of planet-heating gases being pumped into the atmosphere hitting a new high last year, despite a near-global pledge to reduce them.
Man-made greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 to 55.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the UN’s annual ‘emissions gap’ report. While much of the increase came from emerging economies such as China and India, some of those emissions are the result of manufacturing outsourced from developed countries.
To stop average global temperatures from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius this century compared with pre-industrial times, worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases will have to drop by 7.6% each year in the coming decade, the agency said. Scientists say the 1.5C target — contained in the 2015 Paris climate accord — would avert some of the more extreme changes in global weather patterns predicted if temperatures rise further.
Even the less ambitious goal of capping global warming at 2C would require annual emissions cuts of 2.7% between 2020 and 2030, UNEP said.
That currently seems unlikely.