Greenhouse gas emissions set to bust
Paris deal by 30 percent: U.N.
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[October 31, 2017]
By Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions
are on course to be about 30 percent above the level needed to keep
global warming to an internationally agreed target in 2030, the United
Nations said on Tuesday.
"Without enhanced ambition the likely global average temperature
increase will be in the range of 3.0-3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of
the century," U.N. Environment said as it issued its annual audit of
By 2030, annual emissions are likely to be 53.0-55.5 billion tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalent, far above the 42 billion ton threshold for
averting a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees
Fahrenheit) this century, the U.N. environment agency said.
The latest projection, which assumes all countries meet their
commitments, is slightly lower than the gap of 12-14 billion tonnes
foreseen a year ago, reflecting new data on national emission reduction
The report said there was increasing evidence that carbon dioxide
emissions from fossil fuels, cement production and other industrial
processes remained stable for the past three years, largely due to
slower growth in coal use in China and the United States. But the trend
could be reversed, and 80-90 percent of coal reserves must remain in the
ground, it said.
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A chimney billows smoke from a coal-burning power station behind a
workman riding a bicycle in Beijing December 14, 2010. REUTERS/David
In 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris climate accord, pledging to
limit global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial times. Ministers will meet in Bonn next month to work
on guidelines for the agreement.
A harder target of keeping warming to within 1.5 degrees would mean
a further reduction of about 5 billion tonnes of emissions.
The U.N. said on Monday that the amount of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere grew at record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for
millions of years, potentially fuelling a 20-metre (65-foot) rise in
sea levels and adding 3 degrees Celsius to temperatures.
The Paris agreement is already under pressure because U.S. President
Donald Trump has said he plans to pull the United States out of the
deal unless there is a renegotiation more favorable to Washington.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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