Be more ambitious on global warming, says UN Environment Programme

8 Nov 15

Ambitions will need to be revised up if the target of a global temperature rise no more than 2°C is to be met, the UN Environment Programme has warned.

The UNEP said that current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are making good progress towards reducing emissions by 2030 but further reductions of two times the amount of gigatonnes by 2100 were needed to prevent the temperature rising above 2°C.

Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director, said: “The INDCs signal a breakthrough in terms of international efforts to bend the curve of future emissions. While in themselves not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to 2°C this century, they represent a historic step.

“However in order to close the gap it is essential that the Paris Agreement adopt a dynamic approach in which ambitions, the mobilisation of climate finance and other forms of cooperation can be adjusted upwards at regular intervals.”

The Emissions Gap Report, published on 6 November, echoes the findings of a report by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released last month and uses the same data.

Both acknowledge the step-up in ambition that the current INDCs represent and say that while a global temperature rise of less than 2°C is possible, more will need to be done to reach that goal. However, the UNEP is more stark in its warning that more work, targets and commitments are needed.

Its report commends the INDCs for galvanising change and the development of climate policies, and calls on the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December to build on this.

However, some of the least developed countries argue that even a 2°C temperature rise is too much and remains outside of safe limits, putting economic development, regional food security, biodiversity and people at risk.

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