Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Prepare for a World 3°C Warmer in 80 Years

The UN expects a world 3°C warmer by 2100, even if countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions as they promised in 2015.

Mauna Loa observatory, Hawaii: Tracking the path to a world 3°C warmer. (Image Credit: LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
Governments should accept that we shall probably be living in a world 3°C warmer than it is today by the end of this century unless they urgently step up the speed at which they cut greenhouse gases, a United Nations assessment says.

As things stand, the UN says, even fully implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement (concluded in 2015) will deliver only one third of what is needed for the world to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

It will make “a temperature increase of at least 3°C by 2100 very likely” – meaning that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020.

“Should the United States follow through with its stated intention to leave the Paris Agreement in 2020, the picture could become even bleaker,” says the assessment, in this year’s edition of the Emissions Gap report, produced by UN Environment and released ahead of next week’s UN climate change conference in the German city of Bonn.

The report says the national pledges made in the Agreement two years ago will deliver only a third of the reduction in emissions needed by 2030 to meet the climate targets which governments agreed.  And it says action by the private sector and by cities and other groups below national level is not increasing fast enough to help to close the gap.
But the report does suggest practical ways to make deeper and more rapid cuts in emissions through rapidly expanding action to reduce them, based on existing options in the agriculture, buildings, energy, forestry, industry, and transport sectors.

Strong action on other climate warmers – such as hydrofluorocarbons, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and other short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon – could also make a real contribution.  The Amendment aims to phase out the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons – chemicals primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation.

“One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.

“This is unacceptable.  If we invest in the right technologies, ensuring that the private sector is involved, we can still meet the promise we made to our children to protect their future.  But we have to get on the case now.”

Read more at Prepare for a World 3°C Warmer in 80 Years

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