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‘Listen to the science’ on 1.5°C goal

Global greenhouse gas emissions must fall 7.6% annually over the next decade if the 1.5°C temperature goal set by the Paris Agreement is to be realised. That’s according to the new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report, which says a minimum fivefold increase in collective action above current levels is a must for this target to …

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres said: “For ten years, the Emissions Gap Report has been sounding the alarm – and for ten years, the world has only increased its emissions. There has never been a more important time to listen to the science. Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms and pollution.”

The report states the 1.5°C can still be met and that the tech exists to deliver the required cuts. For that to happen though, developed countries need to immediately invest far more than the developing world. And nations must also ‘drastically increase their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as the Paris commitments are known’.

“We need quick wins to reduce emissions as much as possible in 2020, then stronger Nationally Determined Contributions to kick-start the major transformations of economies and societies. We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated. If we don’t do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030,” added Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director.

The challenge is now on for world leaders gathering in Madrid next month – for the COP25 climate negotiations – to prioritise strategies that can deliver these transformations.

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