Governments 'not on track' to meet greenhouse gas targets, says top UN official ahead of major climate talks

(The Independent, 1 Sep 2018) UN climate change chief Patricia Espinosa says summer's heatwaves, wildfires and droughts will 'create a bigger sense of urgency' for discussions in Bangkok.

A top UN official has warned that urgent action is required to avoid the “catastrophic effects” of climate change ahead of important negotiations taking place in Bangkok.

After heatwaves and extreme weather swept the world this summer, there is hope among climate experts that leaders will be galvanised to act.

Patricia Espinosa, head of the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said governments are not doing enough to meet their climate targets.

Specifically she said they are unlikely to hit the ambitious goal of the Paris climate agreement to cap temperature increases not only below 2C, but closer to 1.5C.

“1.5 is the goal that is needed for many islands and many countries that are particularly vulnerable to avoid catastrophic effects. In many cases it means the survival of those countries,” Ms Espinosa told Reuters.

“With the pledges we have on the table now we are not on track to achieve those goals.”

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The Independent, 1 Sep 2018: Governments 'not on track' to meet greenhouse gas targets, says top UN official ahead of major climate talks