A damning fresh UN report released on Sunday said the world is falling back badly in the race to prevent climate catastrophe due to runaway warming, with the five-year period ending 2019 set to be the hottest ever.
It is ahead of a significant UN climate summit on Monday, attended by more than 60 world leaders, as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pushes nations to raise their objectives for greenhouse gas decrease.
According to the World Meteorological Organization’s study, the average global temperature between 2015-2019 is on track to be the hottest of any five-year recorded era.
Since record-keeping started in 1850, the last four years have already been the hottest.
Guterres said the world was “losing the race” on climate change last week, and the recent study shows how widening the gap between what is needed and what is happening.
In 2018, carbon dioxide rose by 2%, reaching a record high of 37 billion tonnes, rather than falling.
More importantly, there is still no indication that what is known as “maximum yields” will be reached, the point at which rates will begin to drop, although they do not grow at the same pace as the global economy.
The Paris Agreement of 2015 saw nations set domestic objectives for reducing their emissions to restrict long-term temperature increase above pre-industrial rates by less than two degrees Celsius or ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius.
These are benchmarks that will restrict the effect of warming on global climate systems in significant respects.
But even if all nations fulfill their own objectives, the globe will warm up to 3.4 degrees Celsius by 2.9 degrees Celsius, the study discovered.
To fulfill the two-degree Celsius objective, the present levels of ambition would need to be tripled and five-fold enhanced to fulfill the 1.5 degree Celsius objective— technically still feasible.