- Feb 2007
World’s Emissions Gap Is Growing, with No Sign of Peaking Soon, UN Warns
Here is where that referenced UN report can be found.:'We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated,' said UNEP's Inger Andersen. 'If we do not do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030.'
By LESLIE HOOK, FINANCIAL TIMES
Nov 26, 2019
A new United Nations report lays bare the yawning gap between the sharp cuts in emissions required to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord and current projections, concluding that the window is closing to prevent the worst effects of damaging climate change.
The definitive annual assessment of global climate pledges found "no sign" that levels of emissions in the atmosphere would peak soon, despite the fact that meeting the Paris goals requires global emissions reductions of at least 2.7 percent each year for the next decade.
The Paris accord of 2015 aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F), with efforts to keep it below 1.5°C (2.7°F), in order to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Yet existing pledges are so inadequate that they correspond to about 3.2°C (5.8°F) of warming by the end of the century, the Emissions Gap Report published Tuesday said.
"We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated," said Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Program. "If we do not do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030."
To be on track for 2°C of warming, the report said, emissions in 2030 would need to be 25 percent lower than today.
To limit warming to 1.5°C, emissions would need to be slashed by 55 percent. Last year, global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.7 percent.
"Every year that action is delayed, emissions reductions need to be steeper," said Joeri Rogelj, climate change lecturer at Imperial College London and an author of the report. This is the 10th year in a row that the UN has released an emissions gap report. "It is really the accumulation of bad news every year."
New data from the World Meteorological Organization published on Monday showed that global average concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose to 407.8 parts per million in 2018, up from 405.5 parts per million in 2017.
"It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was 3 to 5 million years ago," he added. "Back then, the temperature was 2 to 3°C warmer, and sea level was 10 to 20 meters higher than now."
And, also keep in mind that the average global temperature during the peak of the last ice age/glacial maximum, when glaciers extended as far south as New York City, is estimated to be between 7 to 9°C cooler* than the same baseline that is used for the projected temperature increases mentioned above.
Thus, this apparent time bomb's clock is most certainly ticking...
(*Based on Vostok ice core-based studies.)