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Current Affairs

Reports indicate losing battle against climate change

Date: 28 November 2019 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

Recent news on the global fight against climate change has been consistently disappointing, as the leaders of the world’s nations assemble in Madrid for the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25).

 

Background

The last few reports had suggested that world climate is not improving soon which may lead to problems sooner than expected. The details of various reports give idea about the extent of damage.

 

Details

 

The Emmissions Gap Report

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) flagship Emissions Gap Report, said in its executive summary that the summary findings are bleak. Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required.

Highlights

  • Despite scientific warnings and political commitments, GHG emissions continue to rise, including by China and the United States. GHG emissions have risen at a rate of 1.5 per cent per year in the last decade, stabilizing only briefly between 2014 and 2016.

  • Although the number of countries announcing net zero GHG emission targets for 2050 is increasing, only a few countries have so far formally submitted long-term strategies to the UNFCCC.

  • Dramatic strengthening of the NDCs is needed in 2020. Countries must increase their NDC ambitions threefold to achieve the well below 2°C goal and more than fivefold to achieve the 1.5°C goal.

The World Meteorological Organisation Report

The WMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations mandated to cover weather, climate, and water resources, reported that the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all major greenhouse gases have increased in the atmosphere since the middle of the 18th century.

 

The Production Gap Report

  • The Production Gap said that governments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 2°C and 120% more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

  • The production gap is the largest for coal, and by 2030, countries plan to produce 150% (5.2 billion tonnes) more coal than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 280% (6.4 billion tonnes) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.

  • Oil and gas are also on track to exceed carbon budgets as countries continue to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” oil and gas use.