Countries are developing increasingly far-reaching plans to mitigate the effects of climate change, but even if they were all implemented, it would not be enough to prevent dangerous global warming. This is what the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, wrote in its annual report published on Monday Emissions gap report. In it, scientists calculate the gap between what countries have agreed to do and what is needed to keep global temperatures at a safe level. The report comes just two weeks before the United Nations climate summit, COP28, in Dubai, where representatives of nearly two hundred countries will gather.
“We are breaking false records,” says Inger Andersen, head of the United Nations Environment Programme. “The report shows that the world must change course, otherwise we will be saying the same thing next year – and the year after that, and the year after that. Like a record being broken again and again.
Maybe 2.9 degrees warmer
More than 150 countries shared their climate plans with the UN climate agency at the end of last month. The researchers calculate that if all countries actually implemented these plans, global greenhouse gas emissions would be 2 to 9 percent lower than they are now by 2030. But this is not enough. Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed in 2015 to keep temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 28 to 42 percent. With the plans now on the table, global temperatures will rise by 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the researchers, the probability that the world will still be able to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is 14% in the most optimistic scenario. For this reason, countries will also rely on technology that has not yet been developed.
The Earth’s temperature has now risen by about 1.2 degrees Celsius. Last year, one heat record after another was broken. September was the hottest month on record worldwide and the oceans were unprecedentedly warm. The higher the temperature, the greater the risk of floods, droughts and heat-related deaths.
How unevenly the consequences of the climate problem are distributed around the world is once again illustrated by Oxfam Novib’s new climate report, also published on Monday. The richest 1% of the world’s population, a group of 77 million people including millionaires and billionaires, emit the same amount of carbon dioxide.2 As the poorest 66 percent, a group of 5 billion people. While developing countries are more vulnerable to the consequences of climate change: they have fewer resources to adapt to a warmer climate.
In 2019, the richest ten percent of the world’s population were responsible for half of all carbon dioxide2emissions, a group to which two out of three Dutch people belong. On average CO2Emissions are nine times too high to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
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