Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the United Nations, waiting until the end of 2020 is not an option, the crisis has to be addressed now.
U.N. warns world not doing nearly enough to avert climate catastrophe
UPDATED ON: NOVEMBER 26, 2019 / 8:23 AM / CBS/AP
Geneva — Countries have procrastinated for too long and need to begin making steep cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions immediately, or risk missing agreed targets for limiting , a senior United Nations official said Tuesday. The appeal by Inger Andersen, who heads the U.N. Environment Program, came days before governments gather in Madrid for an annual climate change meeting.
“We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020,” Andersen said, as her agency published its annual “emissions gap” report showing the amount of planet-heating gases being pumped into the atmosphere hitting a new high last year, despite a near-global pledge to reduce them.
Current national pledges would leave the world 5.8 Fahrenheit warmer by 2100 than pre-industrial times, with dramatic consequences for life on Earth, the U.N. agency said, adding that getting the world back on track to limit the increase to 2.7 degrees (1.5 Celsius) would require a fivefold increase in measures pledged so far.
Even if the current pledges are met, the U.N. said it “would cause mass extinctions” and leave “large parts of the planet uninhabitable” by 2100.
This latest warning is a follow on from UNEP’s 1989 warning that entire nations would be wiped off the face of the Earth if CO2 emissions were not brought under control by the year 2000.