World countries significantly off schedule to meet the Paris Climate Accord, UN report
World countries are significantly off schedule to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. This is according to an UN-backed report released on Thursday ahead of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, UK.
World countries in 2015 signed the famous Paris Climate Accord pledging to limit global warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and keep temperatures at 1.5C by the end of the century.
However, carbon emissions are rapidly rising and are “nowhere close” to reduction targets.
In their report, titled United in Science 21, six U.N. bodies and scientific organizations drew on existing research to argue that there is a direct link between human-caused emissions, record high temperatures, and disasters that have a tangible impact on individuals and societies, including “billions of work hours (…) lost through heat alone.”
The analysis report found that the average global temperature for the past five years was among the warmest on record, estimated at 1.06C to 1.26C above pre-industrial levels.
It also found that there is a 40% likelihood that temperatures will breach the threshold of 1.5C in the next five years. Even if emissions are reduced, sea levels will continue to rise and threaten low-lying islands and coastal populations throughout the world.
The authors said human-induced climate change is already increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather occurrences across the globe and warned of increased heat-related deaths linked to rising temperatures.
The head of the United Nations Antonio Guterres called for “immediate, rapid, and large-scale” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to curb global warming and avert climate disaster.
He was speaking during the launch of a U.N.-backed report summarizing current efforts to tackle climate change.
He warned governments that climate change is proceeding faster than predicted and fossil fuel emissions have already bounced back from a pandemic dip.
Guterres warned that the recent extreme weather – Hurricanes, brutal floods and, deadly heatwaves showed no country is safe from climate-related disasters.
“These changes are just the beginning of worse to come,” he said, appealing to governments to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
“Unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we will be unable to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit),” said Guterres. “The consequences will be catastrophic.”
He urged governments to put forward more ambitious plans for cutting emissions by the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, including a commitment to stop adding more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere by mid-century than can be removed.