UN Says Climate Pledges Are Too Weak to Stop Warming

Image: Mathias P.R. Reding via Pexels

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer

As the world gets ready for COP26 in Glasgow next week, many nations are upping their pledges to lower emissions before 2030. But according to a UN report released Tuesday, even if Argentina, Britain, Canada, the EU, South Africa, and the US achieve their pledged goals, it would account for only one-seventh of the reductions needed to limit global temperature rise to1.5 degrees Celsius. 

 

Why this Matters: The report projects that even if countries uphold their climate promises, temperatures will rise by about 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100 above pre-industrial levels. This outcome would have catastrophic effects on the planet, such as punishing heatwaves, extended droughts, ecosystem collapse, flooding, wildfires, and crop failure.

 

This report’s findings rely on the basis that countries will follow through with their proposed plans — but that is hardly a guarantee. Without policies and regulations to enforce (deeper) emissions cuts, warming will get even worse.

 

“The Clock is Ticking Loudly”

The US has promised to cut emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and the EU aims to cut emissions 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. But the path toward these goals isn’t certain. President Biden’s landmark climate policy still awaits approval from Congress, and the EU’s climate legislation needs endorsement from all 27 of its member states. 

 

Moreover, major emitters like India and Turkey have not made short-term pledges. Some pledges, like those from Russia and Saudi Arabia, will not reduce emissions between now and 2030.

 

“The world has to wake up to the imminent peril we face as a species,” Inger Andersen,  executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said. “To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly.”

Up Next

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Late last week, President Biden and a critical mass of Democrats in the Senate and House agreed on the details of Build Back Better legislation — a $1.85 trillion overall investment that includes a record-setting  $555 billion dollars to take on the climate crisis.    The agreement marked a […]

Continue Reading 502 words
Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Top executives from Big Oil companies ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell testified before Congress yesterday amid accusations and revelations about their industry’s efforts to mislead the public about human-caused climate change while claiming to be in favor of climate action. A report released Thursday morning by the House Committee […]

Continue Reading 542 words
Biden Administration Considering Revamped Clean Energy Plan

Biden Administration Considering Revamped Clean Energy Plan

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House is considering new clean energy strategies for President Biden’s budget package to potentially replace measures blocked by coal-state Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The administration is considering an expansion of grants and loans for agricultural and industrial businesses to help them transition to cleaner energy, […]

Continue Reading 339 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.