UN report reveals global temperatures rising to ‘catastrophic’ levels

Reacting to UN report, UN Secretary General António Guterres said real ambition and cooperation is required to win the race against climate crisis. But we are rapidly running out of time

The pace of climate change has not slowed down by the global COVID-19 pandemic, said the World Meteorological Organisation. Pic PTI

Global warming seems to be spiralling out of control as the planet is poised to register a warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, stated a new report on global emissions targets by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This is alarming as scientists have always stressed that global temperatures should remain less than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the disastrous fallouts of climate crisis.

The world is lagging behind in its battle to cut carbon emissions and what’s more, the pace of climate change has not slowed down by the global COVID-19 pandemic, observed the World Meteorological Organisation on September 16.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General António Guterres, who was reacting to the UN report termed the planet’s current path as ‘catastrophic’, said media reports.


According to Guterres, these figures showed that the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement was being broken.

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“Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods,” pointed out Guterres, adding that they could still achieve the target and they had the tools to do so. “We need real ambition and cooperation to win the race against the climate crisis. But we are rapidly running out of time,” said Guterres, who also has not much hope about the upcoming UN COP26 conference in Glasgow.

The meeting is at risk of failure due to “mistrust” between developed and developing countries and a lack of ambitious goals among some emerging economies, he told Reuters in an interview in the UN headquarters in New York.

Later, at the Major Economies Forum on Friday, again he reiterated that the UN climate conference, where leaders will discuss emission targets, to be held in November has a “high risk of failure.”

He pointed out that it is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities. He urged all nations to set out more ambitious climate targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in order to make the 1.5 degrees goal more conquerable.

The NDCs contain information on targets, climate policies and measures for reducing national greenhouse gas emissions and they spell out the economic and technological requirements of meeting the targets.

The UN’s NDC registry reveal 191 parties to the Paris Agreement and they have all submitted their first NDC. However, less than 60 per cent have submitted an updated NDC.

Scientists have called for a reduction of emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.

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There will be a 16 per cent increase in emissions in 2030, as compared to the 2010 level taking into account the current emissions commitments from countries. This will cause warming of 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, stated the UN report.

An August report stated that global temperature had already reached 1.2 degrees of warming.

The disastrous outcomes of this steady climb in global temperatures are being seen in western US and southern Europe, which have been devastated by wildfires this summer. While China and Germany witnessed devastating floods, said the India Today report.

UN Secretary General António Guterres also appealed to developed nations to act on the decade-long $100 billion promise to support developing countries with their commitments.

Also, according to Alok Sharma, the incoming COP26 President, the nations which have submitted new and ambitious climate plans are already bending the curve of emissions downwards by 2030.

However, he added that if all the countries, especially the biggest economies, fail to act these efforts risk being in vain. “Ambitious climate action can avoid the most devastating effects of climate change, but only if all nations act together,” he added.

The United States and European Union have however made a global pledge to reduce emissions of methane by nearly 30 per cent by the end of the decade. Additionally, the energy and climate ministers of Denmark and Costa Rica have committed to set up a programme to encourage nations to lower their oil and gas production.