Climate Pledges Are Falling Short, And A Chaotic Future Looks More Like Reality

With an annual summit next month, the United Nations assessed progress on countries’ past emissions commitments. Severe disruption would be hard to avoid on the current trajectory. Without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the report said, the planet is on track to warm by an average of 2.1 to 2.9 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels, by 2100. That’s far higher than the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) set by the landmark Paris agreement in 2015 Just 26 of 193 countries that agreed last year to step up their climate actions have followed through with more ambitious plans. The world’s top two polluters, China and the United States, have taken some action but have not pledged more this year, and climate negotiations between the two have been frozen for months. The release of the U.N. report provoked grumbling from those in the developing world who were quick to point out that, of the few countries that strengthened their pledges this year, most are not heavy polluters.

By Max Bearak. New York Times. October 25, 2022.

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