A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) warns that global temperatures will rise to 3C over pre-industrial levels if more drastic cuts are not made to greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The UN report criticizes world leaders for not taking climate change more seriously, saying that at least a quarter must be cut from emissions by the end of the next decade in order to curb the warming trend. The 3C increase cited in the report is far above the 2C threshold set by the Paris climate agreement last December, which goes into effect on Friday of this week.
The new UNEP report was compiled to measure the impact of current emissions trends on future temperature levels worldwide. The report says, by 2030, global emissions could reach 56 metric gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. Previous scientific studies have identified 42 metric gigatons as the threshold at which warming will exceed a 2C increase over pre-industrial temperatures, which is the scenario on which the Paris climate deal was constructed.
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Since the historic international climate accord was signed last December by representatives of 197 nations, just 94 have ratified the agreement as of October 4, 2016. While this surpasses the participation milestone that activates the agreement, it doesn’t determine how quickly those nations will make the necessary changes to slow climate change. Although the world is “moving in the right direction,” said UNEP chief Erik Solheim, it’s not enough. “If we don’t start taking additional action now,” he added, “we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy.”
Via The Guardian
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