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New climate pledges barely affect global heating: UN

The UN warned that countries needed to slash emissions more than seven times faster to keep warming in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius

November 09, 2021 10:30 pm | Updated November 10, 2021 07:00 pm IST - Glasgow

A file photo of emissions from the chimneys of a chemical plant located near Port Botany in Sydney, in Australia.

A file photo of emissions from the chimneys of a chemical plant located near Port Botany in Sydney, in Australia.

New emissions-cutting pledges —including a vow during COP26 by India to be carbon neutral by 2070 — are likely to have a minimal effect on temperature rises this century, an updated UN assessment said Tuesday.

In its annual Emissions Gap report last month, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) had said current decarbonisation plans — known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs — put the world on track to warm 2.7 degress Celsius this century.

It warned that countries needed to slash emissions more than seven times faster to keep warming in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious Paris Agreement temperature goal.

In an updated assessment, the UNEP said on Tuesday that even when new pledges were factored in, the effect on the climate is predicted to be “very similar” to existing net-zero plans.

This is due to due to “limited changes to 2030 emissions,” the UNEP said.

UN Climate Change said last week that countries’ renewed NDCs — updated every five years under the Paris agreement — would see emissions climb 13.7%by 2030 before sharply declining thereafter.

To keep in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius, those emissions must instead fall 45% by then. “We are not where we need to be and we need to step up with much more action,” said UNEP executive director Inger Andersen.

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