Countries will have to increase their ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by five times if the world wants to avoid warming by more than 1.5 degrees, the UN says.
The annual emissions gap report shows that even if all current promises are met, the world will warm by more than double that amount by 2100. Richer countries have failed to cut emissions quickly enough. Fifteen of the 20 wealthiest nations have no timeline for a net zero target. Seven G20 members need to take more action to achieve their current promises. These include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the US.
The UN assessment is fairly blunt. “The summary findings are bleak,” it says. “Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required.”
The report says that emissions have gone up by 1.5% per year in the last decade. In 2018, the total reached 55 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent. This is putting the Earth on course to experience a temperature rise of 3.2C by the end of this century.