New climate pledges 'far short' of meeting Paris Agreement goals: UN

The planet is on 'red alert', the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Photo: Reuters

The planet is on "red alert" because governments are failing to meet their climate change goals, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.
According to CNN, the UN Chief described 2021 as a "make or break year" following the release of a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) report analyzing the updated climate action plans submitted by 75 nations ahead of November's COP26 climate summit which found that current policies won't come close to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
"2021 is a make or break year to confront the global climate emergency. The science is clear, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, we must cut global emission by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2010 levels. Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet. It shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement," said Guterres in a statement.
He added, "The major emitters must step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions targets for 2030 in their Nationally Determined Contributions well before the November UN Climate Conference in Glasgow."
The UN Chief stated that now is the time the global coalition committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society. COVID-19 recovery plans offer the opportunity to build back greener and cleaner.
"Decision-makers must walk the talk. Long-term commitments must be matched by immediate actions to launch the decade of transformation that people and planet so desperately need," he added.
Under the 2015 Paris climate accord, countries committed to reduce their carbon output and halt global warming below 2 degrees Celsius -- and if possible, below 1.5 degrees Celsius -- by the end of the century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Experts have "repeatedly warned" that exceeding the threshold will contribute to more heatwaves and hot summers, greater sea level rise, worse droughts and rainfall extremes, wildfires, floods and food shortages for millions of people, CNN reported.
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the population must reduce its 2030 CO2 emissions by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels and reach net zero by 2050 to ensure this temperature limit goal is reached.
As per the report, despite increased efforts, the carbon reduction plans submitted to the UNFCCC fall "far short" of what is needed and show countries need to "strengthen their mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement".
The report showed that that the revised climate action plans -- which cover 40% of countries party to the 2015 Paris Agreement that account for 30% of global emissions -- would only deliver a combined emissions reduction of 0.5% from 2010 levels by 2030.
The report is a "snapshot, not a full picture" of the individual country plans -- called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by the UN -- because of difficulties posed by the pandemic, said the UNFCCC executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa on Friday.
"'s time for all remaining Parties to step up, fulfill what they promised to do and submit their NDCs as soon as possible," Espinosa said as quoted by CNN and added, "If this task was urgent before, it's crucial now.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 27 2021 | 7:53 PM IST

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