The United Nations says all countries must triple efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit an average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius by 2030.
The ninth annual U.N. Environmental Program Emissions Gap report released Tuesday says emissions in 2030 could be up to 15 billion tons higher than needed to prevent a more than two degree hike.
The report said emissions in 2030 would need to be 55 percent lower than they were in 2017 to limit the average increase to a safer 1.5 degrees.
The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for limiting a temperature rise to between 1.5 and two degrees.
The report said emissions reached a record high of 53.5 tons in 2017 after three years of decreases.
The report also said the world’s 20 largest economies, the Group of Twenty, are not on track to meet their goals in 2030.
The analysis follows a special report last month by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It concluded that two degrees of warming, once believed to be a safe threshold, would trigger more deadly extreme weather events. The report said limiting the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees would require countries to make rapid and unprecedented changes.
“If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” said UNEP deputy executive director Joyce Msuya. “The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we have seen, government’s need to move faster and with greater urgency. We are feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach.”
Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration issued The National Climate Assessment, which predicts climate change could cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars annually through the end of the century.
Trump, who has vowed to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, has dismissed that prediction, telling a reporter Friday, “I don’t believe it. No, no, I don’t believe it.”
A U.N. climate conference will be held in Poland December 2-14, when officials will produce a “rule book” on how to implement the Paris agreement. (VOA)