Invisible Dust

London | Wednesday 16 January
Pollution level: Moderate

Paris climate pledges may only delay dangerous levels of warming by 2 years

Delegates at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Bonn Climate Change Conference in March 2014. Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr.

An article published in the Guardian this week has reported pledges made by countries to cut carbon emissions in the lead up to the climate summit in Paris will only delay dangerous levels of global warming by two years. This means passing the 2C threshold by 2038 rather than 2036.

The current lack of political will needs to change, as so far only 36 countries have submitted their plans despite a deadline of the end of March. More than 150 countries are yet to do so, which provides some hope in this figure changing with countries such as India, a high emitter of carbon, still in the position to significantly change the picture. However, if countries globally committed to similar levels pledged by Russia and Canada this will result in catastrophic warming of between 3-4C.

The analysis was carried out for the Guardian by the non-profit Climate Analytics. Founder Dr Bill Hare also a former lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was clearly disappointed by these findings saying, “The action and ambition we have seen to date is far from sufficient and unless it is rapidly accelerated, the difficulties of limiting warming below 2C will be extreme,”

But he added: “What we see in the economic and technological potential for emissions reductions gives us hope that if governments are willing to move fast enough in the next 5-10 years, we might still make it. All that is lacking is political will.”

Read the full Guardian article here.


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