The United Nations has said that the G20 countries are responsible for 78 per cent of all the emissions. The UN said that current commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions have put the planet on track for a “catastrophic” average 2.7-degree Celsius temperature rise this century.
Just days before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the UN’s Environment Program said on Tuesday that the plans to reduce carbon pollution amounted to “weak promises, not yet delivered”.
Executive director of the UNEP Inger Andersen said, “The G20 countries are responsible for 78 per cent of all emissions so the ‘to do item’ lies with them. The developed countries have a special responsibility to really step up, but actually, everyone does – all 193 member states.”
Andersen said that much of the pledged action by countries is delayed until 2030. She said, “Action is needed now.”
Scientists have repeatedly warned that the 2030 deadline will be far too late to halt the worst ravages of climate change on the planet.
The global community will be in the spotlight at the COP26 conference next week to meet a deadline of this year to commit to more ambitious greenhouse gas cut promises. Experts say that it could be the last chance to put the world on track to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Scientists say that such a commitment would help prevent the worst imagined catastrophic changes threatening the planet. Amidst a flurry of climate change-related events across the world such as superstorms, forest fires, and floods, even the slightest increase in global temperatures will worsen the situation.
‘Clock is ticking loudly’
The UN World Meteorological Organization has said that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is “way off track” in capping rising temperatures.
Experts expect an increase of about 16 per cent in global emissions by 2030 compared with 2010, considering all pledges by 192 countries under the Paris Agreement. Experts say that such an increase would lead to a warming of 2.7C by the end of the century making life on Earth devastating for millions of people.
UNEP’s report said that the most recent commitments would shave 7.5 per cent off previously predicted 2030 emissions levels. To keep on a 1.5C trajectory, a 55-per cent reduction is needed.
The report said that plans of many of the 49 countries that have made “net-zero” pledges remained “vague” and were not reflected in their formal commitments. It said that even if all net-zero pledges were delivered in full, there was a 60-per cent chance that temperature rises would hit 2.7C by 2100.
UNEP chief Andersen said, “We have eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly.”
Meanwhile, in a press briefing, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UNEP report showed the world was “still on track for climate catastrophe”.
Guterres said, “This report is another thundering wake-up call. How many do we need? The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap. The era of half measures and hollow promises must end. The time for closing the leadership gap must begin in Glasgow.”
Earlier in August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that Earth could hit the 1.5C threshold as soon as 2030 and be consistently above it by mid-century.