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A new report shows the world is on a “catastrophic path” to a warmer future unless governments make more ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the UN chief said on Friday.
The UN report, examining all national commitments submitted by signatories to the Paris climate agreement through July 30, found that they would lead to an increase in emissions of nearly 16% by 2030 , compared to 2010 levels.Scientists say the world must soon start sharply cutting emissions and adding no more to the atmosphere by 2050 than can be absorbed, if it is to meet the agreement’s most ambitious goal. Paris – cap global temperature rise at 1.5 ° C by 2100.
The planet has already warmed by 1.1 ° C since pre-industrial times, experts say.
“We need a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a virtual leaders’ meeting of major economies organized by US President Joe Biden.
“The world is on a catastrophic path towards 2.7 ° C heating,” he added.
WATCH | Catastrophic warnings from the UN:
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“Code Red”: terrible warnings from the UN report on climate change
Some 113 countries, including the United States, the European Union and Canada, have submitted updates to their emissions targets, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, by the end of July. Their commitments would result in a 12% drop in emissions from these countries by the end of the decade – a figure that could more than double if conditional commitments and assurances from some governments regarding the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 translated into action.
“This is the positive side of the situation,” said Patricia Espinosa, UN chief climate officer, whose office wrote the latest report. “The other is more sober. “
Dozens of countries, including large emitters such as China, India and Saudi Arabia, failed to submit new pledges in time for the report.
Espinosa called on leaders at the United Nations annual meeting next week in New York to present stronger commitments in time for the world’s body’s next climate summit in Glasgow.
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“Leaders must engage in frank discussion motivated not only by the very legitimate desire to protect the national interest, but also by the equally important goal of contributing to the well-being of mankind,” he said. she declared. “We just don’t have any more time to waste, and people around the world expect nothing less. “
Espinosa added that some public commitments, such as China’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2060, have not yet been formally submitted to the UN and therefore have not been considered for The report. An update, which would include any further pledges submitted by then, will be released shortly before the Glasgow summit, she said.
Yet environmental activists and representatives of some vulnerable countries have expressed disappointment at the findings.
“We have to ask ourselves what it will take for some major emitters to take account of scientific findings and bring our world out of a point of no return,” said Aubrey Webson of Antigua and Barbuda, who chairs the Association of Small Island States. “The results are clear: if we are to avoid the amplification of our already devastating climate impacts, we need major emitters and all G20 countries to implement and stick to more ambitious NDCs and make commitments.” strong in favor of net zero emissions by 2050. “
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Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, said achieving the Paris target would only be possible with “courageous leadership and bold decisions”.
“Governments let vested interests take the lead on the climate, rather than serving the global community,” she said. “We must stop passing the buck to future generations – we are now living in a climate emergency. “
<p>Espinosa, la cheffe de l'ONU pour le climat, a déclaré qu'elle pensait que l'objectif fixé à Paris il y a six ans était toujours réalisable.</p> <p>"L'objectif de 1,5 C, à mon avis, est, bien sûr, vivant", a-t-elle déclaré. "Une chose que nous ne pouvons pas faire est d'abandonner."</p></div>