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Just a month and a half after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported a “code red” for the world to combat climate, the UN announced on Friday that recent climate action plans submitted by 191 countries won’t come close to limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Without improved commitments, the world is on track to warm 2.7 degrees by 2100, but humanity won’t have to wait 80 years to see its effects.
Why This Matters: While 86 nations submitted new plans this year, some of the world’s largest emitters, including India and China, haven’t updated their plans. So far, the plans submitted could curb emissions by 12%, but without more ambitious commitments from major polluters, GHG emissions could rise by 16%, resulting in a net increase in emissions. “The 16% increase is a huge cause of concern,” said Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “It is in sharp contrast with the calls by science for rapid, sustained and large-scale emission reductions to prevent the most severe climate consequences and suffering, especially of the most vulnerable, throughout the world.”
On Friday, President Biden hosted the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, hoping to nudge other nations to raise climate ambition. “I need to tell you the consequences of inaction,” he told leaders. “We don’t have a lot of time.” The US and the EU also announced on Friday a global agreement to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030, which experts say offers a quick route to reducing warming.
Still, if countries, especially major emitters like the US and China, don’t increase their climate commitments, the consequences will be dire. “There is a high risk of failure of COP26,” warned UN Secretary General António Guterres. “It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities.”
By WW0 Staff For the United States, the post-Trump, pre-COP26 road to Glasgow has been paved with ambition and humility. In a major speech, the President’s Envoy, John Kerry, previewed the results of his climate diplomacy before heading into two weeks of intense deliberations of world leaders. Speaking at the London School of Economics — […]
Next week, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will draw hundreds of world leaders to Glasgow to determine the path forward five years after the Paris Climate Agreement (for a primer, read this) as new science underscores the urgency. The conference aims to squeeze countries to strengthen the commitments they’ve made towards securing global net-zero […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In a report released last week, the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed that existing risks and security challenges in the US are being made worse due to “increasing temperatures; changing precipitation patterns; and more frequent, intense, and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Now, the Pentagon is […]
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