“The clock is ticking. The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap. But leaders can still make this a turning point to a greener future instead of a tipping point to climate catastrophe.”
A call to action from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Tuesday, as a newly published U.N. report found that - despite international commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions - the planet is on track for a 2.7 degrees Celsius temperature rise this century… a rise Guterres called ‘catastrophic.’
The warning comes as world leaders are to meet at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next week to try to commit to a more ambitious climate pledge.
It could be the last chance to reach the goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord, to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
“As world leaders prepare for COP26, this report is so another thundering wake up call. How many more do we need? The recent IPCC report already showed that unless we reduce global carbon emissions by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, 100 months from now, we will not reach a 1.5-degree future.”
The annual "emissions gap" report by the U.N. measures the gap between anticipated emissions and those consistent with the Paris agreement.
The report said G20 countries, which represent 80% of global emissions, are not on track to achieve their original or new 2030 pledges.
And as extreme weather events like wildfires and floods continue to wreak havoc globally, Guterres said the heat is on leaders to do more:
"The heat is on. And as the contents of the report shows, the leadership we need is off and far off. We know that humanity's future depends on keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. And we also know that so far, parties to the Paris Agreement are utterly failing to keep this target within reach."