— Internet News

Researchers: Climate pledges see world closing on Paris goal

BERLIN — Recent pledges by the United States and other nations could help cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Still, only if efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to “net-zero” by 2050 succeed, scientists said Tuesday.

More than 190 countries agreed six years ago in Paris to keep the average temperature rise below that threshold — ideally no more than 1.5 C (2.7 F) — by 2100, compared to pre-industrial times, to avoid serious harm to humans and the natural world.

The Climate Action Tracker, compiled by researchers who translate targets and actual emissions into temperature estimates, projects that the world is currently set to overshoot the Paris Accord’s less ambitious goal by 0.9 degrees. “That’s still catastrophic climate change, a situation that is not controllable and which we have to avoid by all means,” said Niklas Hoehne of the New Climate Institute, one of the study’s authors.

By including the latest proposals from governments in their calculation, researchers found the estimate dropped to 2.4 C — an improvement of 0.2 C on the previous optimistic forecast the group made in December. U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent ambitious new climate goals contributed significantly to the revised estimate and the European Union, China, Japan, and Britain.

But if 131 countries that makeup almost three-quarters of global emissions meet their pledged or discussed “net zero” goal, then the 2-degree target could be completed, said Hoehne. However, this would require further pledges to halve global emissions in the next ten years.

The updated estimate was released before a virtual meeting hosted by Germany this week to discuss further international efforts to curb global warming. Germany’s environment minister said the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which brings together representatives from about 40 nations, will resolve several technical issues in the November run-up to this year’s U.N. summit in Glasgow.

Svenja Schulze said more aid to help poor countries prevent and adjust to climate change would also be discussed. Rich countries have failed to provide the 100 billion dollars a year they agreed to by 2020, much to the anger of developing nations. The meeting is one of the last opportunities for Chancellor Angela Merkel to leave her mark on international climate policy. During her four terms in office, the long-time leader, who isn’t running again in Germany’s upcoming national election, has faced criticism for failing to push through tough emissions cuts domestically.

“She has to share the responsibility for the severe lack of vision in pivotal fields such as transportation and agriculture,” said Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace International.

Morgan said a ruling by Germany’s top court last week ordering the government to set more precise goals for emissions reduction after 2030 could help spur Berlin into action in the coming months, suggesting the country could raise its emissions cuts from 55% to 70% over the next decade.

Such a move by Europe’s biggest economy would align with calls for countries to redouble their efforts to achieve the more ambitious 1.5 C target in the Paris Accord.

Climate scientist Hoehne said capping global warming at that level would require a significant effort on all fronts, given that average temperatures are already 1.2 C higher today than before industrialization. “Is it physically achievable? Yes, by all means,” he said, adding that the world also has the technical means of doing so.

“The big problem is whether it’s politically doable. And there I’m more hopeful now than ever before.”

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button