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UN warns Earth ‘firmly on track toward an unlivable world’

UN warns Earth ‘firmly on track toward an unlivable world’

BERLIN (AP) — Temperatures on Earth will shoot past a key danger point unless greenhouse gas emissions fall faster than countries have committed, the world’s top body of climate scientists said Monday, warning of the consequences of inaction but also noting hopeful signs of progress.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed “a litany of broken climate promises” by governments and corporations, accusing them of stoking global warming by clinging to harmful fossil fuels.

“It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track toward an unlivable world,” he said.

Governments agreed in the 2015 Paris accord to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) this century, ideally no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). Yet temperatures have already increased by over 1.1C (2F) since pre-industrial times, resulting in measurable increases in disasters such flash floods, extreme heat, more intense hurricanes and longer-burning wildfires, putting human lives in danger and costing governments hundreds of billions of dollars to confront.

“Projected global emissions from (national pledges) place limiting global warming to 1.5C beyond reach and make it harder after 2030 to limit warming to 2C,” the panel said.

In other words, the report’s co-chair, James Skea of Imperial College London, told The Associated Press: “If we continue acting as we are now, we’re not even going to limit warming to 2 degrees, never mind 1.5 degrees.”

Ongoing investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and clearing large swaths of forest for agriculture undermine the massive curbs in emissions needed to meet the Paris goal, the report found.

Emissions in 2019 were about 12% higher than they were in 2010 and 54% higher than in 1990, said Skea.


BERLIN (AP) — Temperatures on Earth will shoot past a key danger point unless greenhouse gas emissions fall faster than countries have committed, the world’s top body of climate scientists said Monday, warning of the consequences of inaction but also noting hopeful signs of progress.
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