Governments leading world to disastrous warming: UN

(Eco Business, 29 Nov 2018) Not enough governments are on track to cut carbon emissions, but private sector could be the saviour if coal, oil and gas subsidies are removed, UN Environment suggests.

Governments will not be able to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement, and with business as usual, we are heading for a 3°C warmer world, says UN Environment. The private sector may be the only saviour, it adds in its Emissions Gap Report 2018 that comes three days before the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

G20 countries account for around 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The UN says six of them—US, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia—are not on target to meet their emission control pledges by 2020.

Individually, the US, Australia, Canada, EU, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Argentina and South Africa fall short. China, Japan and Brazil are on track, while India, Russia and Turkey are doing better than they had pledged, though this probably means they pledged little.

This ninth edition of the report also comes just days before the next climate summit in Poland, and a few weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced a special report on what the world has to do if it wants to keep average global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

See: 1.5 degree ambition demands radical change, UN warns

Under the Paris Agreement, all governments had pledged to keep this rise well below two degrees Celsius, with the 1.5 degree ceiling an aspirational goal. UN Environment now says, “It is still possible to keep global warming below 2°C, but the technical feasibility of bridging the 1.5°C gap is dwindling.”

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Eco Business, 29 Nov 2018: Governments leading world to disastrous warming: UN