'Climate catastrophe': UN emissions gap report deemed as 'thundering wake-up call'

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 28, 2021, 06:45 PM(IST)

Emissions due to human activities Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

In order to keep global warming below 1.5C this century, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement, the world needs to halve annual greenhouse gas emissions in the coming eight years

United Nations Environment Programme's Emissions Gap report has revealed that country pledges will be unable to keep the global temperature under 1.5C this century. The report shows that new national climate pledges and various mitigation measures have set the world for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century.

In order to keep global warming below 1.5C this century, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement, the world needs to halve annual greenhouse gas emissions in the coming eight years. 

If this is implemented effectively, then the net-zero emissions pledges could limit down the warming to 2.2C, which is closer to the 2C goals of the Paris Agreement. 

The report further highlights that the reduction of methane emissions from various sectors, including fossil fuel, waste and agriculture, could help close the emissions gap and reduce warming in a shorter span. Carbon markets can also help in reducing emissions. 

Also read | Cop26 climate deal will be harder than Paris accord, says Alok Sharma

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres deemed climate change as "another thundering wake-up call." This comes after a study from the WMO showing that warming gases were at a new high last year.

The report highlights that the plans, when added together, cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by around 7.5 per cent. This stands nowhere near to 1.5C temperature.

"The clock is ticking loudly," said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP.

Guterres has called the current scenario a "climate catastrophe". He believes the report highlights the failures of political leaders as he said that the emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap.

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