UN Climate Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Rise, Complicating Climate Change Mitigation

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, exacerbating the challenges world leaders face in preventing worsening climate change impacts, the United Nations warns in its latest climate report.

Emissions in 2019 were about 12% higher than in 2010 and 54% higher than in 1990, mainly due to increased fossil fuel production, industrial activity and methane emissions, the report said Monday. UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Change, states.

As a result, anthropogenic climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in all regions of the globe, leading to widespread adverse impacts and associated loss and damage to nature and people, the report says.

The report says the window of opportunity for a livable and sustainable future is closing “quickly”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that mitigating the effects of global warming will require “a quantum leap in climate change action.”

“Humanity is on thin ice and that ice is melting fast,” Guterres said.

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The report says that continued greenhouse gas emissions will increase warming, and each increase in increased warming will increase the danger, but deep and rapid cuts in emissions will slow warming within about two decades. However, according to the report, some future changes, such as sea level rise, are inevitable or irreversible, but may be limited by deep, rapid and sustainable reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.

The authors re-emphasized that the world must reach zero by the early 2050s to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, meaning that any anthropogenic carbon or greenhouse gas emissions will be eliminated or removed.

The report also lays out why this goal is so important, saying that any incremental warming beyond this amount will exacerbate hazards such as heat extremes and heavy rainfall and increase the risk of species loss, increasing the number of days of extreme heat that can be dangerous for human health. and reduced crop or fishery productivity.

“The choices and actions taken in this decade will have consequences now and for thousands of years,” the UN report says.

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The report summarizes almost a decade of work by the IPCC, which brings together the best climate scientists from around the world to create the ultimate reports that set international and domestic climate policy and goals. This language has been adopted by every country participating in the Paris Agreement and will be used as the backdrop for climate negotiations until the end of the year, when countries are expected to provide important updates to their emission reduction plans.

The literature is being framed by civil society groups as the last UN climate report before the world starts to meet these critical deadlines to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit – cut global emissions by almost half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

The report, which covers about 200 years of warming, is extremely important because it “represents the most comprehensive collection of knowledge about climate change,” Stephanie Rowe, lead global climate and energy specialist at the World Wildlife Fund, told ABC News.

“It clearly lays out, at its core, the underlying causes and drivers of climate change, the impacts of climate change, and solutions to climate change in a way that is much more accessible, clear, and concise to policy makers, decision makers, and the general public.” . ‘ Rowe said.

Many groups view the report as another call to action rather than a cause for despair.

“This IPCC report is both a strong condemnation of the inaction of major emitters and a credible blueprint for a much safer and more just world,” Anya Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, said in a statement.

The IPCC remains “hopeful” despite dire warnings in the report, which offers a “narrow” path to securing a sustainable future if the world corrects course quickly, Dasgupta added.

“This includes significant reductions in emissions from every sector of the economy, as well as much larger investments to build climate resilience and support people facing inevitable climate loss and damage,” Dasgupta said.

The report was endorsed by all 195 countries participating in the Paris Agreement, making it the definitive summary of climate science and the decisions that will be made over the next few years of global climate negotiations.

The report’s approval was initially delayed due to the struggle between rich and developing countries over emission targets and financial assistance to vulnerable populations, according to the Associated Press.

Negotiations on the wording of key phrases of the text took place between major countries such as China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the United States over the weekend, and the wording was finalized on Sunday, AP reported.

Guterres proposed a “Climate Solidarity Pact” to the G-20 countries that would require all major emitters to make extra efforts to reduce emissions, and richer countries to mobilize financial and technical resources to support emerging economies in the overall effort to achieve the goal of staying below 1.5 degrees of warming up “alive”.

“Every country should be part of the solution,” Guterres said. “Requiring others to move first only ensures that humanity will be last.”

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