GENEVA – Governments need to boost efforts in a bid to meet Paris climate agreement goals in order to tackle climate change, a United Nations report warned on Tuesday.
According to the UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, published ahead of a climate change conference in the western German city of Bonn, current pledges only represented a third of the reduction in emissions needed by 2030.
“Governments and non-state actors need to deliver an urgent increase in ambition to ensure the Paris Agreement goals can still be met,” according to a UN statement.
Nations adhering to the Paris Agreement agreed to aim to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, though they also set a more challenging target of 1.5 degrees.
“Meeting these targets would reduce the likelihood of severe climate impacts that could damage human health, livelihoods and economies across the globe,” the statement said.
At present, contributions point to a rise in temperature of “at least 3 degrees Celsius by 2100 very likely – meaning that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020.”
The report touched on the possible withdrawal of the United States from the climate pact and warned that if that were to happen, the situation “could become even bleaker.”
The report found that current pledges on Carbon Dioxide emissions did not go far enough in efforts to limit the global warming to under 2 degrees.
CO2 emissions have been “stable” since 2014, thanks to a surge in renewable energies – in China and India in particular – according to the findings.
However, other greenhouse gases were rising, the report said.
“One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future,” said UN Environment head Erik Solheim.
The UN’s environmental leg also warned against the construction of new coal-fired power plants and encouraged getting rid of existing ones in a bid to bring down CO2 emissions.