- UN seeks to “dramatically increase” climate commitments
- Summit will seek to avoid threatening levels of warming
- Johnson from UK says COP26 outcome is ‘touch and go’
- We must review our whole way of life – Taalas
GENEVA / GLASGOW, Oct. 25 (Reuters) – Greenhouse gas concentrations hit record highs last year and the world is “far off track” in limiting rising temperatures, the United Nations said on Monday , showing the task of climate talks in Glasgow to avoid dangerous levels of warming.
A report by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed that carbon dioxide levels reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the past decade despite a temporary decline emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the current rate of increase in heat-trapping gases would cause the temperature to rise “well above” the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1, 5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average for this century.
“We are far from the track,” he said. “We must review our industrial, energy and transport systems and our whole way of life,” he added, calling for a “dramatic increase” in commitments at the COP26 conference which begins on Sunday.
The Scottish city of Glasgow was putting the finishing touches before hosting the climate talks, which could be the last best chance in the world to limit global warming to the upper limit of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius set in the Accord from Paris.
“This summit is going to be very, very difficult,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference with children.
“I’m very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the chords we need and it’s touching and going back, it’s very, very difficult, but I think it can be done”, a- he declared.
The German government has announced that Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Glasgow to participate.
The stakes for the planet are enormous, one of which is the impact on economic livelihoods around the world and the future stability of the global financial system.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that the world’s largest oil exporter aims to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions, mainly produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, by 2060 – 10 years more later than the United States.
He also said he would double the emission reductions he plans to achieve by 2030.
Australia’s cabinet was to formally adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050 when it meets on Monday to consider a deal reached between parties in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coalition government, official sources told Reuters.
The ruling coalition is divided over how to tackle climate change, with the government saying tougher targets would hurt the A $ 2 trillion ($ 1.5 trillion) economy.
In Berlin, German and Canadian officials were due to present a plan for how rich countries can help poorer countries fund the overhaul needed to tackle climate change.
Rich countries have so far failed to deliver on their 2009 pledge to provide $ 100 billion a year in climate finance to the poorest countries by 2020.
A Reuters poll of economists found that meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of net zero carbon emissions will require investments in a green transition representing 2-3% of global production each year until 2050, far less than the economic cost of inaction.
In London, climate activists revived their campaign to block main roads by disrupting traffic in the city’s financial district, while in Madrid a few dozen people staged a sit-in, briefly blocking the street Gran Via shopping area.
“Greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate disasters all over the planet. We do not have the time. It is already late and if we do not join in action against what is happening, we will not have time to save what is left, ”said Alberto, 27, a sociologist who participated in the protest. .
Additional reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan in London, Zuzanna Szymanska in Berlin and Marco Trujillo in Madrid; Written by Michael Shields, edited by William Maclean
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