November 29, 2021

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New promises to cut emissions will not affect global warming – VG

A car passes through an energy-producing waste incinerator in Frankfurt.

Two different reports on Tuesday concluded that new promises to cut emissions, including from India, are far from sufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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In October, the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) submitted a report that estimated warming would be 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial times by 2100.

The Unep assessment has now been updated, in line with the latest signals provided during the COP26 Climate Summit. The conclusion is that the impact on climate change will be minimal. This includes a promise by India to become carbon neutral by 2070.

The reason is what Unep describes as “limited changes in emissions through 2030”. Their analysis is based on countries’ voluntary emissions targets, referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). According to the Paris Agreement, all countries must update these goals on a regular basis.

away from goals

On Tuesday, Climate Action Tracker, an organization that has been tracking emissions developments for many years, presented a report based on the latest climate promises.

Their assessment is slightly more optimistic than Uneps.

By all accounts, a warming of about 2.4 degrees can be expected, given the promise. It still involves catastrophic climate change, and it’s a far cry from the goals of the Paris Agreement, says climate researcher Niclas Hoon, affiliated with the New Climate Institute and tracker of Climate Action.

Denmark’s Inger Andersen leads the United Nations Environment Program (Unep).

2.1 on hand

The plans and promises made so far are likely to cut carbon emissions by 500 million tons by the end of the decade. However, it would not be enough to have any significant impact on global warming, according to UNEP calculations.

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However, measures such as emissions offsetting, afforestation and emission reduction measures could push warming to 2.1 degrees. It is slightly lower than the assessment in October, but still not in line with the target in the Paris Agreement for a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees.

The Climate Action Tracker program also assessed the evolution of global warming if all less binding national promises and targets were taken into account. Then this group also reaches a total height of 2.1 degrees.

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upbeat

An “optimistic scenario” in which all promises of carbon neutrality by mid-century are taken into account has also been evaluated by the Climate Action Tracker. These promises are considered minimal, but if observed, the temperature drops to 1.8 degrees, according to Niklas Hohn.

This is the same temperature rise that the International Energy Agency (IEA) calculated in an analysis published earlier this week. At that time, proposals to reduce methane emissions were taken into account.

The United Nations Environment Program warned last month that countries would have to cut emissions more than seven times to reach the target of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, the most ambitious target set out in the Paris Agreement.