World on track for 2.7°C temp rise this century, warns UN

  • Reduction of 30% is needed to meet Paris Agreement’s 2°C goal and 55% to keep global warming under 1.5° C
Smoke rises from chimneys at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon, Indonesia.(AFP)
Smoke rises from chimneys at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon, Indonesia.(AFP)
Updated on Oct 27, 2021 04:46 AM IST
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ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi

The world is on track for an average temperature rise of 2.7°C this century if the only steps on climate action it takes are the commitments announced till now, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday, a fresh warning ahead of the Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26) later this month.

The 2.7°C breaches the Paris Agreement’s target of 2°C and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been warning of catastrophic consequences if the planet is allowed to warm beyond an average temperature of 2°C compared to pre-industrial age levels.

According to the UNEP’s ‘Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On’, the updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by various countries and other commitments made for action till 2030 will only reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 7.5% compared to the previous round of commitments in 2015. Reductions of 30% are needed to meet Paris Agreement’s 2°C goal and 55% to keep global warming under 1.5° C, it added.

As of September 30, 120 countries, representing just over half of global greenhouse gas emissions, had communicated new or updated NDCs. UNEP has also considered announcements of new mitigation pledges for 2030 by China, Japan and the Republic of Korea which have not yet been submitted as NDCs for analysis in the report.

India is also among countries that hasn’t announced an updated NDC or announced an enhanced target as yet.

There is a 66% chance of hitting global warming of 2.7°C by end of the century with the present formally submitted and announced NDCs. “To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we have eight years to take an additional 28 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) off annual emissions, over and above what is promised in the updated NDCs and other commitments - equivalent to almost halving current greenhouse gas emissions,” the report warned.

“Today I have bad news. Less than one week before COP26 in Glasgow, we are still on track for climate catastrophe. The 2021 Emissions Gap Report shows that even with present Nationally Determined Contributions and other commitments of countries around the world, we are indeed on track for a catastrophic global temperature rise of around 2.7°C,” UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said during the launch of the report.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022