UN says global carbon emissions set to rise 16 per cent by 2030

A coal-fired power station in Hammerstadt, Germany Florian Gärtner/Photothek via Getty Images
Today's UN analysis revealed that global carbon dioxide emissions are on a downward trajectory despite the existence of new CO2 -curbing measures by many countries, including the US and 27 EU member states.

According to UN Climate Change's synthesis report, global emissions will increase 16 percent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels. This is according to governments plans since 2020. This puts the world on the wrong track to achieve the 45 percent reduction that climate scientists believe is necessary to reach the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change, said that this report really shows us some sobering numbers. It also shows that progress towards the 1.5C goal can be made. According to the latest IPCC report, there is still a window. This window is very, very narrow, it's true. I believe that the 1.5C goal has been achieved.

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As the November COP26 climate summit approaches, there are reasons to be optimistic. The first is that the UN report does not include political announcements that have not yet been translated into official plans. For example, China's pledge to reduce its emissions by achieving a peak in 2030. The second is that the 16% increase does not include pledges made by developing countries to support or finance their plans. Thirdly, the Paris Agreement's 113 parties that submitted new plans showed that their emissions would decrease by 12 percent by 2030 compared to 2010.

Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International, stated that the report does not show progress. She said, "Governments are allowing vested interests to dictate the climate, instead of serving the global community."

Next Monday will be a significant stepping stone to COP26. In an effort to inspire greater ambition for the summit, UN secretary general Antnio guterres has assembled a select group, including Joe Biden from the US and Boris Johnson from the UK.

Espinosa refers to today's UN synthesis analysis and says: I hope this report will be one of the elements for reflection for leaders who meet on Monday. It is clear that everyone must increase their ambition in all areas.

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