Carbon cut pledges 'still not enough to cap warming to 2 degrees'

The Climate Action Tracker, a tool developed by a group of research organisations, in September predicted the Earth was on track
The Climate Action Tracker, a tool developed by a group of research organisations, in September predicted the Earth was on track for average warming of 3 degrees Celsius by 2100

Earth is on track for average warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, outstripping the UN target, said an analysis Thursday of country pledges for curbing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

While exceeding the UN goal of limiting overall warming to 2 Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, the number was an improvement on the 3.1 C forecast issued in September by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by a quartet of research bodies.

Thursday was the informal deadline for countries to submit pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, which will form the backbone of a universal rescue pact to be inked in Paris in December.

Some 140 countries representing nearly 80 percent of have submitted their plans so far, including major polluters China, the United States and the 28-member European Union.

"The INDCs still produce... global warming well above the 2 C limit set by the global community," said a CAT statement.

"This reflects the less than sufficient climate targets submitted by many governments", though still a "significant improvement" of 0.4 C from the last estimate.

The latest forecast includes estimated numbers for India, the world's fourth-largest polluter—extrapolated from public statements as the country has not yet filed a formal contribution.

Thursday is the informal deadline for countries to submit emissions pledges ahead of the Paris climate summit
Thursday is the informal deadline for countries to submit emissions pledges ahead of the Paris climate summit

To get on the path to 2 C, annual would have to be 11-13 billion tonnes lower in 2025 than pledged, said the CAT, and 15-17 billion tonnes lower in 2030.

Based on pledges to date, emissions would be 52-54 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2025 and 53-55 (GtCO2e) in 2030—more than today's estimated 48 GtCO2e per year.

It was "not very likely" that submissions by countries which have not yet filed their pledges would get us to 2 C, Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, a CAT contributor, told AFP.


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World on track for warming 'far above' 2C target: analysts

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Citation: Carbon cut pledges 'still not enough to cap warming to 2 degrees' (2015, October 1) retrieved 17 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-carbon-pledges-cap-degrees.html
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