A chasm to be filled in order to hope to limit global warming to +1.5 ° C | COP26 – Glasgow Climate Change Conference

Despite new commitments from more than 120 countries registered as of September 30, the gap with what would be necessary to comply with the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting global warming to well below +2 ° C, if possible to +1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era, remains important, concludes the report released Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

So the new promises%, while[une baisse de] 30% would be needed for +2° C and 55% for1,5° C “,” text “:” reduce emissions projections for 2030 by 7.5%, while[une baisse de] 30% would be necessary for + 2 ° C and 55% for 1.5 ° C “}}”>reduce emissions projections for 2030 by 7.5%, while[une baisse de] 30% would be necessary for + 2 ° C and 55% for 1.5 ° C.

Clearly, this reduction° C and almost eight times higher to be compatible with +1.5° C “,” text “:” should be four times greater to be compatible with + 2 ° C and nearly eight times greater to be compatible with + 1.5 ° C “}}”>should be four times greater to be compatible with +2 ° C and almost eight times greater to be compatible with +1.5 ° C, explains to AFP Anne Ohloff, one of the authors of the report.

There has been progress […], but we are very far from where we should be.

A quote from:Anne Ohloff, one of the authors of the report

The first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the 200 or so signatories to the Paris Agreement were leading the planet towards a warming of +3 or 4 ° C.

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With the new NDCs filed by 143 countries and the not yet formalized promises of major savings like China for 2030, the world is now heading towards a warming of at least + 2.7 ° C.

In addition to the NDCs, which detail short-term targets, 49 states representing 57% of global emissions have also formally committed to carbon neutrality by mid-century. [une majorité pour 2050, quelques-uns pour 2060 ou 2045].

These commitments would make it possible to plan an additional half a degree and therefore to reach +2.2 ° C, notes the report.

Warnings

But the researchers warn of the risks of greatly exceeding these predictions.

First, they assume that the commitments will be fulfilled, while a number of previous commitments have still not been met. So, as a group, the G20 countries are not on track to meet their previous NDCs. As for the strategies towards carbon neutrality, they are waves.

And other signals are worrying. After the 5.4% drop in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant rebound is expected in 2021 and States have not taken the opportunity of the recovery plans to accelerate the green transition , with only 17 to 19% of these investments likely to reduce emissions, says the report.

In the foreground, a melting glacier.  In the background, a stream with large chunks of ice.

The planet has warmed by more than one degree since the pre-industrial era.

Photo: Radio-Canada / François Gagnon

In addition, scientists’ predictions are based on probabilities.

The report estimates that there is a 66% chance of not exceeding +2.2 ° C. But in this same scenario, there is% probability of warming exceeding+2,5° C by the end of the century and a little less than 5% it exceeds+3° C “,” text “:” more than 15% probability that the warming will exceed + 2.5 ° C by the end of the century and a little less than 5% that it will exceed + 3 ° C “} } “>more than 15% probability that warming will exceed + 2.5 ° C by the end of the century and a little less than 5% that it will exceed + 3 ° C.

It’s scary, it further emphasizes the need to go as low as possible.

A quote from:Anne Ohloff, one of the authors of the report

Especially since every fraction of a degree of warming counts, multiplying climatic catastrophes, from heat waves to floods, which already ravage the planet with around +1.1 ° C since the pre-industrial era.

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+1,5° C, we have eight years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost half: eight years to develop plans, implement policies and ultimately achieve those cuts. Time is running out dangerously “,” text “:” To have a chance of limiting global warming to + 1.5 ° C, we have eight years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost half: eight years to develop plans, implement policies and ultimately achieve those cuts. Time is running out dangerously “}}”>To have a chance of limiting global warming to +1.5 ° C, we have eight years to cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost half: eight years to develop plans, implement policies and ultimately achieve those cuts. Time is running out dangerously, said UNEP boss Inger Anderson in a statement.

Fossil energies

Eight years to reduce annual emissions by 28 gigatonnes [mesurées en équivalent CO2] by 2030, when current commitments would reduce them by only about four gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to the report. And that CO2 emissions alone are expected to reach 33 gigatonnes in 2021.

One of the levers of action to reduce emissions is the elimination of fossil fuels, which are particularly polluting. But another UNEP report showed last week that global forecasts for coal, oil and gas production were more than twice as high as those consistent with limiting warming to +1.5 ° C.

The world must wake up to the looming danger that threatens us as a species, argued Inger Anderson.

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