Study: Paris climate commitments won't meet emissions target

Countries will need to double or triple their commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement to keep the global temperature increase under the target 2 degrees Celsius, leading climate scientists said Thursday.

The study by seven top scientists analyzed pledges under the Paris Agreement in light of two previous reports - one by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and the 2015 Emissions Gap Report by the UN Environmental Programme.

The study found that even if all pledges are fulfilled, global greenhouse gas emissions will remain at their current annual level of 54 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030.

Global emissions must drop to 42 Gt in order to meet the 2-degree-Celsius target.

The outlook is even more worrying given that only 17 per cent of pledges were made without conditions and 27 per cent of commitments are conditional on receiving funding.

If only the unconditional pledges are met, global greenhouse gas emissions will actually increase by 2 Gt by 2030, the scientists said.

Both scenarios show that a "very large gap" will still exist for the agreement to be successful, Robert Watson, a former chairman of the IPCC and one of the leading authors of the study, told dpa.

"Great job on the Paris agreement, but if you're really serious about the 2-degrees-Celsius target, you're really gonna have to double, re-redouble your efforts," Watson said.

He said that the earlier countries start cutting emissions levels, the less they'll have to do later, which at that point will require developing technology to not only lower emissions but also to capture carbon dioxide.

Last update: Thu, 29/09/2016 - 20:04
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