Global warming is on track to top 3° Celsius, the United Nations warned this week, because today’s climate pledges are “not nearly enough” to prevent dangerous levels of warming.
That’s according the latest annual “Emissions GapReport” (pdf) from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which concluded that pledges to cut emissions will result in a global temperature rise of 3.4ºC above pre-industrial levels, far above the 2º limit and 1.5º goal agreed to under last year’s Paris climate accord.
“Current commitments will reduce emissions by no more than a third of the levels required by 2030 to avert disaster,” two UNEP leaders warn in the report’s introduction.
“This is a stark warning that cannot be ignored—tougher action on climate change is urgently needed to prevent the world speeding towards catastrophe,” Asad Rehman, a climate campaigner with Friends of the Earth (FOE) International, told the Guardian. “Governments are drinking in the ‘last chance saloon’ if the lofty goals of the Paris climate agreement are to be met.”
“After 24 years of negotiations we are hurtling towards a 3.5 degree world, which will be catastrophic for millions across the world,” added Dipti Bhatnagar, a climate justice and energy coordinator also at FOE International. “Despite all the science-based evidence, rich countries are failing to do their fair share of emissions reductions as well as provide much-needed finance to drive energy transformation in developing countries.”