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World on catastrophic path to 2.7-degree heating: UN chief

This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned.

IANS | New York |

The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating. This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Saturday. He said failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods.

The Secretary-General was responding to the UN Climate Change synthesis report of climate action plans as communicated in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The NDC Synthesis report indicates that while there is a clear trend that greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced over time, nations must urgently redouble their climate efforts if they are to prevent global temperature increases beyond the Paris Agreement’s goal of well below 2 degrees Celsius — ideally 1.5 Celsius — by the end of the century.

“G20 nations account for 80 percent of global emissions. Their leadership is needed more than ever. The decisions they take now will determine whether the promise made at Paris is kept or broken,” Guterres said.

“Before COP 26 all nations should submit a more ambitious NDC that helps to place the world on a 1.5-degree pathway. We also need developed nations to finally deliver on the $100 billion commitment promised over a decade ago in support of developing countries. The Climate Finance report published today by the OECD shows that this goal has not been reached either,” he added.

The Synthesis Report released by the UN Climate Change on Friday was requested by Parties to the Paris Agreement to assist them in assessing the progress of climate action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow in Scotland.

The report includes information from all 191 Parties to the Paris Agreement based on their latest NDCs available in the interim NDC registry as of July 30, including information from 86 updated or new NDCs submitted by 113 Parties.

The new or updated NDCs cover about 59 percent of Parties to the Paris Agreement and account for about 49 percent of global GHG emissions.

For the group of 113 Parties with new or updated NDCs, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decrease by 12 percent in 2030 compared to 2010. This is an important step towards the reductions identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which estimated that limiting global average temperature increases to 1.5 Celsius requires a reduction of CO2 emissions of 45 percent in 2030 or a 25 percent reduction by 2030 to limit warming to 2 Celsius.

Within the group of 113 Parties, 70 countries indicated carbon neutrality goals around the middle of the century. This goal could lead to even greater emissions reductions, of about 26 percent by 2030 compared to 2010.