This week’s UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report 2021 revealed that the pledges being made by nations ahead of COP26 fall well short of putting the world on track to meet the 1.5°C Paris goal.
Current commitments would see a temperature rise this century of at least 2.7°C, the type of increase a recent IPCC report said will result in heat extremes that ‘more often reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and health’.
“Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts. The clock is ticking loudly.”
The consensus is though, that despite the path narrowing rapidly, the road to a 1.5°C future is not yet closed. And one of the last opportunities to keep it open will be at COP26, which starts next week in Glasgow, when it is surely now or never for countries to commit to actions that can keep the Paris goal in sight.
Innovators Magazine will have a team at the climate summit, tracking developments, speaking to decision makers, and finding out about the innovative solutions countries are prioritising in the fight against climate change.
COP26 runs from 31 October to 12 November 2021. Sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest from Glasgow direct to your inbox.