In the medium-term, the planet’s average temperature could rise by up to 2.7 Celsius. And the efforts of those countries that signed the Paris climate agreement are aimed at preventing an average rise in temperature of at the very least least 2 degrees between the pre-industrial period to 2100 and – at the most – a decrease of 1.5 degrees.
“The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees of heating,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said last Friday after the U.N.’s climate agency (UNFCCC) published an update on national climate action plans.
“This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius rule of the Paris agreement. We are breaching the promises made six years ago to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement – to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of life and livelihoods.”
The U.N. secretary general noted that science underscores the need to reduce harmful emissions by 45 % by 2030 in order to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century. The U.N report, however, warns that unless the countries of the world do not change their climate policy, the volume of harmful emissions will increase by 16 % by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.
Guterres said that G20 countries were responsible for 80 % of emissions in the atmosphere and it therefore depended on those countries whether the provisions of the Paris commitments were met.
Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report warning that many aspects of climate change were irreversible. Among its conclusions, the report noted that if greenhouse gas emissions were not reduced immediately, it will be impossible over the coming decades to keep the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees C or even 2 degrees C.