Recent UN Report States Carbon Emissions Gap Still Growing
Nations will have to further cut their carbon emissions five times over to stop global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new report from the UN has stated. It goes on to say that if all current promises are met the world will still warm by more than three degrees. Authors are mainly putting the blame on the richer countries who have not been able to cut down their emissions quick enough.
This could be because 15 of the worlds 20 richest countries have no timeline for when they will achieve a net zero target.
The emissions gap report takes into account the difference in how much carbon needs reducing to stop dangerous levels of global warming and where the world will actually end up given what different countries have promised in the Paris climate agreement.
The assessment done by the UN has stated that the findings are ‘bleak’ due to countries failing to stop their growth in emitting greenhouse gases. This now means that more severe steps need to be taken to reduce the effect these gases will have on the planets climate.
The report goes on to say that emissions have increased by about 1.5% each year for the past ten years. The total of equivalent carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2018 was 55 gigatonnes, this puts the Earth on course to have a temperature rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century.
Data currently shows that 2019 is on course to be in the top three warmest years out of every year from the 20th century.
This rise in temperatures in great cause for concern. Just last year the International Panel on Climate Changed stated that temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees just this century would lead to very damaging effect for animals, plants and humans on this planet.
To keep the 1.5 degree target alive the world as a whole needs to cut its total emissions by 7.6% each year for the next decade. This large cut is due to how slow the planet has reacted to cutting down emissions in the first place.
The report particularly looked in at how the 20 wealthiest nations have caused such a great effect to climate change. The top 20 wealthiest (G20) are currently responsible for about 78% of all emission! But only the EU, UK France and Italy have committed to a net-zero target for the long term.
There are 7 countries who are within the G20 and need to take more action in meeting their promises. These are the USA, South Africa, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Republic of Korea and Canada.
On the other hand, there are 3 nations, Turkey, Russia and India who are on track to overachieve and cut more emissions than originally planned. The report is critical of this however and states that these countries initially had targets that were originally set too low and should have easily been achieved anyway.
For the nations of Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Argentina it was not possible for the researchers to conclude if they were meeting their targets.
Therefore, it is only Mexico, the EU and China left who are on track to meet their current promises.
However, without serious changes to most countries plans the UN concluded that the 1.5 degree Celsius target will be missed by a large amount. This is due to the world needing to catch up on the years where it ‘procrastinated’.