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Extreme weather risk high despite Paris Agreement: Study

The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events

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The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events. Wikimedia Commons
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  • The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius

Meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping the global-scale warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius could still lead to extreme weather events compared to the present, claims a study.

The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

But even if the target was reached, “we still will be living in a climate that has a substantially greater probability of unprecedented events than the one we’re in now”, said Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author.

Also Read: Climate Change: Earth in Danger

The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events.

However, even at this reduced level of global warming, the world was still likely to see increases in record-setting events compared to the present.

The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius, it was still likely to result in a more than fivefold increase in the probability of record-breaking warm nights over approximately 50 percent of Europe, and more than 25 percent of East Asia.

Also Read: Global warming to continue for thousands of years

A 2-3 degree global warming would also likely result in a greater than three-fold increase in record-breaking wet days over more than 35 percent of North America, Europe and East Asia, the study said. (IANS)

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Governments Have Failed to Respond Adequately to Climate Change at The U.N. Conference: Activists

While there are parts of the package that could and should have been stronger, the implementation guidelines adopted today provide a strong basis to start

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In this Dec. 11, 2018 photo a participant in U.N. climate conference walks by a photo of a satellite in Katowice, Poland. VOA

At the UN Climate Change Conference, which concluded in the presence of delegates from nearly 200 countries, green activists on Sunday said governments have failed to adequately respond to the catastrophic impact of climate change that was highlighted in a recent IPCC report.

Late Saturday night, the UN climate negotiations, known as COP24, drew to a close, with parties adopting a set of guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The climate change conference has failed to deliver a clear commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020.

At the same time, a relatively effective though incomplete rule book for how to implement the Paris Agreement was finalised.

“It is a weak rule book that we have for implementation of the Paris Agreement. This rule book is completely insufficient to drive ambitious climate action,” New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
Participants take part in plenary session during COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. VOA

CSE has been tracking the negotiations at the 24th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) here.

The COP24 conference also failed to increase the ambition of countries to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases as per the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius, CSE’s Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan told IANS.

Limited progress was also made with regard to how financial support for poorer countries coping with devastating climate change impact will be provided and accounted for, says another climate negotiator.

The EU has made welcome efforts by building alliances with other countries and finding common ground on sticking points.

With several other members of the High Ambition Coalition, the EU has set a good example by committing to increase its 2030 climate target by 2020, in light of the warnings of the IPCC calling for “rapid and far-reaching” action to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
COP24 President Michal Kurtyka speaks during the opening of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland. VOA

However, NGOs and civil rights bodies say the COP24 has failed to convince all other governments to make the same commitment.

Germany doubled its support for the Green Climate Fund to support developing countries, but other European countries still have to do the same.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio told IANS: “The weak outcome of this COP runs contrary to stark warnings of the IPCC report and growing demand for action from citizens. Governments have again delayed adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.”

“The EU needs to push ahead and lead by example, by providing more support to poor countries and increasing its climate change pledge before the UN Secretary General Summit in September 2019. It must be a significant increase, even beyond the 55 per cent reduction some member states and the European Parliament are calling for.”

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Jennifer Tollmann, climate diplomacy researcher, E3G said: “In the end the EU did finally step up as a bridge-builder. But we now need to see whether they can ace the real test.”

Andrew Wu, research analyst at World Resources Institute, said: “We cannot overlook land use, a sector which accounts for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. There is now a common framework, supported by COP, to help countries measure land use emissions. All countries must adopt this and incorporate natural climate solutions in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Also Read: As Climate Talks Come to a Halt, Africa Suffers From Global Warming

Commenting on the decision, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, Gebru Jember Endalew, said: “While there are parts of the package that could and should have been stronger, the implementation guidelines adopted today provide a strong basis to start implementing the agreement.” (IANS)