Earth faces 2.8C rise after ‘woefully inadequate’ climate pledges: UN

Click to play video: 'Thousands march for climate action in Brussels, calling for rapid action ahead of COP27'
Thousands march for climate action in Brussels, calling for rapid action ahead of COP27
WATCH: Thousands march for climate action in Brussels, calling for rapid action ahead of COP27 – Oct 23, 2022

Government pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions put the planet on track for an average 2.8 degrees Celsius temperature rise this century, after “woefully inadequate” progress to curb warming, a United Nations report said.

Representatives from around the world will meet from Nov. 6 to 18 at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt to try to agree pledges to limit warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and ideally to 1.5C.

So far, additional commitments since the previous UN climate conference in Scotland last year remove 0.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions (GtCO2e), less than one per cent of estimated global emissions in 2030, the annual UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report showed on Thursday.

Policies in place, without strengthening, will likely lead to a 2.8C rise in temperature by the end of the century, 0.1C higher than was estimated last year.

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“We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen said.

Global emissions in 2030 are estimated at 58 GtCO2e based on current policies. The gap between pledges and limiting warming to 2C is 15 GtCO2e a year and for 1.5C it is 23 GtCO2e a year.

To limit warming to 1.5C, annual emissions must be reduced by 45 per cent compared with emissions forecasts under current policies currently in just eight years and transforming the global economy to low-carbon will require investment of at least US$4-$6 trillion a year, the report said.

Click to play video: 'Affordability, climate change key priorities: Jonathan Wilkinson'
Affordability, climate change key priorities: Jonathan Wilkinson

According to a separate UN report earlier this week analyzing the latest pledges submitted by countries, 2.5C of warming is likely by the end of the century.

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On Wednesday, the World Meteorological Organization said greenhouse gas concentrations climbed at above-average rates to new records last year.

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