UN secretary general says global climate target ‘is on life support’

By | March 21, 2022

The Washington Post reports:

The head of the United Nations on Monday warned that the world is “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe,” as the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a lack of political willpower undermine humanity’s efforts to slow the warming of the planet.

“There is no kind way to put it,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres told attendees of the Economist Sustainability Summit, saying in prepared remarks that the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris accord — to limit Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels — is slipping away.

“The 1.5-degree goal is on life support. It is in intensive care.”

Guterres said the scientific implications of climate change are clear, and so is the math: To have a chance of avoiding global warming’s most ruinous impacts, the world must cut greenhouse gas pollution nearly in half by 2030 and erase its carbon footprint entirely by mid-century.

But that aspiration remains far from reality, as global emissions rise and national climate commitments lack the ambition that scientists say is necessary to abandon the age of fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.

“The problem is getting worse,” Guterres said Monday. “If we continue with more of the same, we can kiss 1.5 goodbye. Even 2 degrees may be out of reach.” [Continue reading…]

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