The world is “far off track” in limiting increasing temperatures, according to the United Nations, which warned on Monday as it attempted to provide a stark reminder top world leaders of the challenges facing UN climate negotiations in Scotland.
Despite a temporary drop in emissions during the Covid-19 induced lockdowns, carbon dioxide levels soared to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, according to a report by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which was more than the average rate of emissions seen over the last decade.
The current rate of increase in heat-trapping gases, according to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, will result in temperature rises “far in excess” of the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century.
“We are way off track,” he said.
“We need to revisit our industrial, energy, and transport systems and whole way of life,” he added and called for a “dramatic increase” in commitments at the COP26 conference beginning on Sunday.
The finishing touches on its preparations to host the climate talks are being done by the city of Glasgow. Many tout this meeting to be the best remaining chance for the world to keep global warming within the 1.5-2 degree Celsius target established by the Paris Agreement.
According to a different UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) research, global emissions would be 16 per cent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010, based on current pledges of emission reduction by different countries.
That’s a long way from the 45 per cent decrease in emissions required by 2030, according to scientists, to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees and avoid the worst consequences.
“Overshooting the temperature goals will lead to a destabilized world and endless suffering, especially among those who have contributed the least to the (greenhouse gas) emissions in the atmosphere,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
“We are nowhere near where science says we should be,” Espinosa said.
The summit was going to be “very, very tough”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a news conference with children.
“I am very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need and it is touch and go, it is very, very difficult, but I think it can be done,” he said.
The German government has confirmed that Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the event in Glasgow. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, will not be present at Glasgow but is expected to make a video appearance was will the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A more ambitious strategy and plans to combat global warming from crucial countries are being sought by Britain.
The wealthier nations will be three years late in fulfilling a goal to spend a total of $500 billion to aid the poorer countries to will be three years late in fulfilling a goal to spend a total of $500 billion, according to Alok Sharma, the president of COP26.
\(Adapted from Reuters.com)