United in Science report ahead of UN summit says climate is changing faster than forecast, and current plans would lead to ‘catastrophic’ global temperature rise
Adam MortonMon 23 Sep 2019 00.51 BST
An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by up to fivefold if the world is to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
The report, launched as leaders gather at a UN climate action summit in New York on Monday, says current plans would lead to a rise in average global temperatures of between 2.9C and 3.4C by 2100, a shift likely to bring catastrophic change across the globe.
Coordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation, the United in Science report says it is still possible to reduce the gap and keep global heating to a safe level, but it would require an urgent shift in commitments and action.
The five years between 2015 and 2019 are on track to be on average 1.1C hotter than pre-industrial times and the warmest of any equivalent period on record.
The report says many of the changes linked to the temperature rise, including long-lasting heatwaves, record-breaking wildfires, declining sea ice and glaciers, cyclones, floods and drought, have hit sooner and harder than predicted a decade ago.
Speaking ahead of the summit, UN secretary general António Guterres said the world was fraying and needed international cooperation more than ever.
“Let’s face it, we have no time to lose,” he said.
Pep Canadell, the executive director of the Global Carbon Project and a contributing author on the report, said the report confirmed well-established trends, including that climate changes had accelerated in the past three decades, and particularly in the past 10 years.
“How many climate records does it take to accept the unprecedented nature of what we are living and to act upon it?”
Millions of people took part in an unprecedented global demonstration on Friday demanding urgent action to tackle global heating, joining a movement started by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg. Like the report, the strike was timed to put pressure on the leaders gathering for the climate summit, which is being held ahead of the annual UN general assembly. Leaders from about 60 countries are scheduled to speak at the summit, including India’s Narendra Modi, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Boris Johnson.
Countries must triple climate emissions targets to limit global heating to 2C | Environment | The Guardian
United in Science report ahead of UN summit says climate is changing faster than forecast, and current plans would lead to ‘catastrophic’ global temperature rise Adam MortonMon 23 Sep 2019 00.51 BST An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled… [Read More]