"We were so far off the track, it's really discouraging."
Next month, world leaders will gather at the UN Climate Change Conference 26 (COP26), to discuss the climate crisis. It seems like the summit will take a more urgent tone, after two UN reports were dropped that sent a clear message to the UN: Nations are simply not doing enough to prevent climate catastrophe.
According to a UN report that synthesizes the emission goals of 192 countries, emissions are expected to rise by 16 percent over the next decade. This report shows that countries' current pledges are not sufficient to meet these challenges. The report states that the global temperature will rise by 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit if we continue on the current trajectory.
This update sends a clear message: Parties need to intensify their climate efforts urgently if they want to avoid global temperature rises beyond the Paris Agreements goal. Patricia Espinosa is the UN Climate Change executive secretary.
She said that failing to achieve these goals would lead to a world in turmoil and to endless suffering.
On Tuesday, the UN released its annual Emissions Gap report. It stressed that all G20 countries must set higher goals to achieve net-zero emissions.
Drew Shindell, an earth scientist professor at Duke University who co-authored the Emissions Gap Report, said that we are so far off track it is really discouraging.
According to the report, the 120 new targets could result in a 7.5% drop in global emissions by 2030. To reach the Paris Agreement goals, however, it must fall by seven times.
These two reports together paint a grim picture of the climate crisis. Despite melting glaciers and other weather disasters, not enough is being done. We would not be surprised if COP26 leads to more ambitious goals, but there is some hope.
READ MORE: The world is still on a dangerous path and financial promises are not being met [The Washington Post]
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