Global efforts to tackle climate change are falling dangerously short according to a new United Nations report that details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years.
The UN’s emissions gap report has found that economic growth is responsible for a rise in emissions in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered.
By the end of this century, the world is forecast to experience many of the worst case scenarios that this target was hoping to avert, the report warned.
Global temperatures are expected to rise to 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100 based on the current emission targets for all countries.
That would accelerate the sea level rise, wreak havoc on the world’s economy, and bring about dire consequences on human health.
The report shows that there is a great gap between individual country contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement and what will be necessary to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial temperatures.
“Global peaking of emissions by 2020 is crucial for achieving the temperature targets of the Paris Agreement,” the report stated, “but the scale and pace of current action remains insufficient.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave similar findings in its October “Special Report on 1.5 Degrees”, which showed that the world urgently needed to bridge this gap and that time was quickly running out.
The world emitted 1 billion tons of CO2, the largest ever amount in history, the UN report revealed.
Global emissions need to be 25 per cent lower than this figure by 2030 in order to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius and 55 per cent lower in order to limit to 1.5 degrees, the report claimed.
It outlined that countries must increase cutting CO2 emissions by three times in order to meet the 2 degrees goal and by five times to meet the 1.5 degrees goal by 2030.
Australia is listed as a G20 country that will not meet its 2030 target — alongside Canada, Argentina, the European Union, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United States.
Under the Paris agreement, Australia aims to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent based on 2005 levels.
The authors of the report concluded that this was unlikely to happen and pointed to smaller governing bodies and private entities to help countries reduce gas emissions.