World on track for warming 'far above' 2C target: analysts
Inadequate national targets for curbing climate-altering greenhouse gases meant emissions would be "far above" the level required to stave off disastrous global warming, analysts warned Wednesday.
Instead of the UN-targeted ceiling of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of average warming over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, the world was on track for 2.9-3.1 C by 2100, according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by a consortium of four research organisations.
"The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2 C," said a CAT statement.
So far, 56 governments have submitted pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, to a UN roster that will form the backbone of a universal climate-rescue pact to be signed in Paris in December.
Including major emitters China, the United States and the 28-member European Union, the pledges cover 65 percent of global emissions, and 43 percent of the world population.
To stay under the 2 C threshold, which scientists say is necessary to avoid worst-case scenario global warming, greenhouse gas emissions would have to drop from about 50 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) per year today, to 39-43 GtCO2e in 2025 and 36-45 GtCO2e in 2030, according to the CAT.
Containing warming to an even safer 1.5 C would require emissions of 38 GtCO2e in 2025 and 32 GtCO2e in 2030. The world has already warmed up by 0.8 C—nearly half the 2 C target.
"The current INDCs lead to emissions levels that exceed the benchmark 2 C limit by 12-15 GtCO2e in 2025, and 17-21 GtCO2e in 2030," said the CAT statement.
The CAT based its analysis on an assessment of 16 pledges representing 64.5 percent of global emissions in 2010, and 41 percent of Earth's population.
Current targets for 2030 would make the 2 C goal "almost infeasible", it found.
The level would instead be closer to "2.9-3.1 C by 2100," Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, a CAT contributor, told AFP.
© 2015 AFP