Paris Agreement’s climate goals are now ‘within reach’

Paris Agreement’s climate goals are now ‘within reach’

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C limit is within striking distance, says a new report.
  • The report comes after President-elect Joe Biden and other nations including South Korea, Canada, China, and Japan recently announced net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • As per their current model, the warming projection is now set at 2.9˚C from today — an after-effect of widespread implementation of non-fossil fuels, renewable energies, and a downturn in the use of coal.
  • But despite the welcoming progress in the nations’ 2050 emission goals, the report noted, none of the world’s biggest emitters have confirmed their 2030 Paris Agreement targets in time for this year’s deadline set by the UNFCCC. 

KOLKATA (India) — A striking report suggests the interim goal of the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change is now getting ‘within reach,’ but with a condition.

If governments around the world aggressively pursue the net-zero carbon footprint pledge by 2050, global warming could be held within the 2.1˚C limits by the fall of the century, a calculation by the Climate Action Tracker says.

If the aforementioned statement turns true, the Paris Climate Agreement’s interim 1.5˚C goal is within a ‘striking distance,’ says the report that predicted the change seeing the recent flurry of climate action goals announced by governments.

The world is scheduled to encounter potentially devastating warming by the fall of the century should efforts to mitigate the global warming are not met.

The PA, signed between over 197 nations, pledged to “keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the US under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration among others have made their net-zero emissions announcements this year most of them targeting the 2050 threshold.

“The Paris Agreement introduced the goal of global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and now we’re seeing a wave of countries signing up to it. Can anyone really afford to miss catching this wave?” said Prof  Niklas Höhne of  NewClimate  Institute, a Climate Action Tracker partner organization.

“Not only is our warming projection for government climate pledges to fall to just over two degrees, a level that puts the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C target within reach, but we’re also seeing a drop in projections for real-world action,” he said.

The Climate Action Tracker, which closely monitors the real-world effects of the country’s collaborative pledges to climate change, predicted the world would warm by a further by 3.6˚C in 2015, translating to devastations.

But the enactment of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 set in a motion where nations-after-nations started to adopt long-term net-zero emission goals, which is the recipe to cut greenhouse gas and thereby avert chances of otherwise unavoidable global warming.

As per their current model, the warming projection is now set at 2.9˚C from today — an after-effect of widespread implementation of non-fossil fuels, renewable energies, and a downturn in the use of coal.

In November, the same agency reported if the climate goal set by Presidential-elect Joe Biden to reduce the net-zero emissions by 2050 manifests as planned, the world could cut 0.1˚C off global warming by the fall of the century.

The report said Joe Biden’s 2050 goal, coupled with China’s pledge to reduce emissions by 2060, boosted by similar goals by the EU, Japan, and South Korea for 2050 will collectively bring the tipping point of 1.5˚C limit of the Paris Accord within reach.

But despite the welcoming progress in the nations’ 2050 emission goals, the report noted, none of the world’s biggest emitters have confirmed their 2030 Paris Agreement targets in time for this year’s deadline set by the UNFCCC. 

“No large emitter has yet submitted a substantially updated NDC, and the emissions gap is huge. Short term targets are not a little bit off, they are totally off. Near-term action and policies need to be ramped up considerably,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, the other CAT partner organization.

Until now, 127 nations, comprising the world’s 63% emitters have made the 2050 target to achieve net-zero carbon neutrality.

Bill Hare from Climate Analytics told the BBC that more than half of the world’s biggest emitters are now in the mission to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century.

“When you add all that up, along with what a whole bunch of other countries is doing, then you move the temperature dial from around 2.7C to really quite close to two degrees,” he said.

“It’s still a fair way off from the Paris Agreement target, but it is a really major development,” he told BBC News.

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