Wednesday December 06, 2023

Earth to warm up to 2.9C even with current climate pledges: UN

November 21, 2023
2023 is expected to be the hottest year in human history. — AFP File
2023 is expected to be the hottest year in human history. — AFP File

PARIS: Countries´ greenhouse gas-cutting pledges put Earth on track for warming far beyond key limits, potentially up to a catastrophic 2.9 degrees Celsius this century, the UN said on Monday, warning “we are out of road”.

The UN Environment Programme´s annual Emissions Gap report is released just ahead of crucial COP28 climate talks in Dubai and will feed into the global response to a sobering official “stocktake” of the failure to curb warming so far.

With this year expected to be the hottest in human history, UNEP said “the world is witnessing a disturbing acceleration in the number, speed and scale of broken climate records”.

Taking into account countries´ carbon-cutting plans, UNEP warned that the planet is on a path for disastrous heating of between 2.5C and 2.9C by 2100. Based just on existing policies and emissions-cutting efforts, global warming would reach 3C.

But the world continues to pump record levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, with emissions up 1.2 percent from 2021 to 2022, UNEP said, adding that the increase was largely driven by the burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the COP28 talks, which begin on November 30, to outline “dramatic climate action”. “Leaders can´t kick the can any further. We´re out of road,” he said, denouncing a “failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive missed opportunity”.