New climate change promises 'will still mean world heats up 2.4C this century'

Rob Waugh
·Contributor
·3 min read
Village of Mora in the province of Toledo, Castilla la Mancha, Spain, Europe.
Governments need to take more action, the Climate Action Tracke group said. (Getty)

Climate change promises made by the world’s richest nations will only reduce warming by 0.2C this century, new analysis has suggested.

The Climate Action Tracker analysis said that the world will warm by 2.4C by 2100, less than the 2.6C it would without action, but much higher than the 1.5C goal agreed under the Paris Agreement on climate change, signed in 2016.

Its report suggested that the 1.5C target is still feasible, but requires action from major nations.

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In a study published this week, Climate Action Tracker group wrote: "Our analysis shows that while progress is being made, the emissions gap in 2030 has only narrowed by 11% to 14%.

"There is still much work to be done by the time of the COP in Glasgow to keep the window to limiting warming to 1.5C open."

Without further action by global governments, global warming could be as high as 2.9C this century, the researchers warned.  

Climate Action Tracker said: "Our most optimistic targets scenario global warming by 2100 could be as low as 2.0C, which is a slight drop compared to our December 2020 analysis.

"While we are moving in the right direction, even under the most optimistic target assumptions, we are still far from the 1.5C limit. The fact that current global warming is now at 1.2C above pre-industrial levels only serves to reinforce the urgency.

"Moreover, governments have yet to adopt sufficient policies to actually meet the targets they have set. In September 2020, we estimated that currently implemented policies, including the effect of the pandemic, will lead to a temperature rise of 2.9C by the end of the century."

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The researchers called for governments to take action. 

Climate Action Tracker said: "This emissions gap needs to be closed. Those countries that have not improved their targets need to rethink: Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia."

People on our planet are using almost double’s Earth’s resources – a number known as 'biocapacity' – and it is worsening inequality, research showed this year.

A paper published in Nature argued that countries can no longer afford to ignore this, with the Earth now using 173% of resources, based on 2017 figures.

Rich countries, which consume far more of the Earth’s resources, have the money to buy in resources from elsewhere.

But an increasingly large number of people live in countries with both low income and diminishing resources.

Lower-income countries can’t simply aspire to be like rich city-states like Dubai or Hong Kong, as this is not sustainable at a planetary level, the researchers warned.

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The researchers write: "Countries in the highest per-person income bracket also are among the countries with the highest per-person resource requirements, often far beyond what can be replicated worldwide. 

"If all people on Earth adopted the average material demand of residents in Dubai, Switzerland, Hong Kong or Singapore, it would take the biocapacity of 5.6, 2.8, 2.939 or 3.7 planet Earths, respectively. 

"In a sustainable world, the reasonable goal from an ecological stability perspective might be using no more than half the planet’s capacity."

In 1980, the human race only used 119% of Earth’s biocapacity.

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