Mountain of promises for climate ‘breeds a mouse’, according to the United Nations

Glasgow | Les tout nouveaux engagements climatiques des États n’ont que marginalement amelioré les chances de l’humanité de freiner le réchauffement de la planète, a regretté l’ONU mardi, appelant encore à plus d’ambition d’ici la finsur de la COP26 climate.

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Before and during the Glasgow Climate Conference that began on October 31, about thirty countries have put new commitments on the table, short or long term, notably Brazil and India, which have committed to carbon neutrality for the year 2070. The announcements made by observers are often considered significant.

“When you look at these new commitments, frankly, it’s the mountain that gave birth to a mouse,” United Nations Environment Program chief Inger Andersen said on Tuesday.

The UNEP Annual Benchmark Report published just before the start of COP26’s 26th cycle predicted a “catastrophic” warming of +2.7°C compared to the pre-industrial era. or + 2.2 ° C taking into account the promise of mid-century carbon neutrality.

The forecast, updated Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Program, which assesses greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for about 150 states for 2030, doesn’t really change the game.

The 2030 commitments for the past two weeks would represent 0.5 GtCO2e for lower emissions in 2030, but an addition of 27 GtCO2 would be necessary to limit warming to +1.5°C, the most ambitious target in Paris. an agreement.

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As a result, the revised 2030 goals do not lead to any change in the temperature trajectory: + 2.7 ° C by the end of the century, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

If we consider about mid-century promises of carbon neutrality from more than 70 countries that account for three-quarters of global emissions, the trajectory shows a slight improvement: +2.1°C, versus +2.2°C.

Before the final hammer blow

But these promises of carbon neutrality are “generally vague, generally opaque, some talk about greenhouse gases and some only about carbon dioxide, difficult to assess, and many of them delay efforts to be made beyond 2030”, while it would be It is necessary to reduce emissions by 45% by this date, hopefully + 1.5 ° C, Inger Andersen commented.

Other estimates of temperature forecasts have been released in recent days.

The most optimistic from the International Energy Agency raises hope of limiting warming to +1.8°C if all short-term and carbon-neutral promises are respected. But it represents a commitment by 100 countries to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by 30% by 2030, while the United Nations Environment Program does not take into account the kind of cross-sectional declarations that may “interfer” with national commitments.

Another climate action tracking analysis published on Tuesday forecasts a +2.4C rise based on short-term goals.

But most of the estimates put forward recently are based on a 50% chance of staying below a certain cap, while the UN Environment Program takes a more cautious approach of 66%, as do UN climate experts (IPCC).

All of these assessments “show that there has been progress but clearly not enough,” commented on Tuesday COP26 President Alok Sharma, who wants to be able to “credibly say” at the end of this conference that a target of +1.5°C “on the Alive”.

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In any case, none of the expectations will come true without policies in place on the ground. Inger Andersen said real action requires real leadership.

“Hopefully, heads of state, leaders, ministers, and everyone else can reduce this leadership shortfall before the COP final blow.”

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