The world is on track to hit 2.7 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100 despite stronger emissions reduction targets, the United Nations has said on the eve of global climate talks. The annual UN Emissions Gap report, released today, compares our current trajectory with where we need to be to keep warming to well below 2C, as per the Paris Agreement.
Despite 120 countries strengthening their emissions reduction targets as of September 30 this year, the report authors said this was still not enough to avoid dangerous warming. To get on the "least cost pathway" to limiting warming to between 1.5C and 2C, they said the targets needed to cut a further 28 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases per year, beyond that pledged by the current 2030 commitments.
This effectively amounted to halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the authors said.The report projected 2021 emissions had bounced back to just shy of 2019's record levels.
But Mark Howden from the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute said the data used was a few months old and he thought 2021 emissions would actually hit a new record high.
"It's a bit sad, but I think they've actually understated it," Professor Howden said.
"We've seen a firming up of emissions that are going to be higher post-COVID than before."