COP26 warned world is heading for temperatures above 2.4 C

Tue, 2021-11-09 18:23

GLASGOW: The world is heading for at least 2.4 C of global warming, way ahead of the UN mandated 1.5 C, because of a “massive credibility gap” between countries’ long-term promises and their actions on climate change.

The stark warning comes in the annual report from the Climate Action Tracker initiative, which is widely seen as the world’s most respected coalition of climate analysis experts.

The report said that although 140 countries, covering 90 percent of global emissions, have announced targets to cut the emissions to net zero, the targets risk just being “lip service to real climate action.”

The CAT said if all the long-term net-zero pledges were met, temperature rises would rise more slowly by the end of the century to 1.8 C.

However, it added that many of the pledges are questionable and most countries do not have short term plans to provide a roadmap to deliver on net zero.

The CAT report also warned that emissions-cutting action pledged up to 2030 would still leave global greenhouse gases at around twice as high by the end of the decade as what is required to reach the 1.5 C limit, thus leaving the world on track for 2.4 C of warming.

Countries were required to submit new more ambitious 2030 targets in the run-up to COP26.

The report said the “appalling outlook” was due primarily to the continuing use of coal — despite warnings the fossil fuel must be phased out in more advanced economies by 2030 and globally by 2040 — and gas, the use of which has increased since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Glasgow talks have seen a number of announcements about reducing methane and halting deforestation, but the CAT report said governments must go beyond existing national targets to have an impact.

Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics, one of the groups responsible for the report, warned that “Glasgow has a serious credibility gap.”

He said: “The vast majority of 2030 actions and targets are inconsistent with net zero goals: there’s a nearly one degree gap between government current policies and their net-zero goals.”

He added: “It’s all very well for leaders to claim they have a net-zero target, but if they have no plans as to how to get there, and their 2030 targets are as low as so many of them are, then frankly, these net zero targets are just lip service to real climate action.”

Prof. Niklas Hohne, of NewClimate Institute, and one of the authors of the report, said: “If the massive 2030 gap cannot be narrowed in Glasgow, governments must agree to come back next year, by Cop27, with new and stronger targets. Today’s leaders need to be held to account for this massive 2030 gap.”

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