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Climate Pledges Are Falling Short, and a Chaotic Future Looks More Like Reality

By District Energy posted 10-26-2022 05:51


The New York Times


Countries around the world are failing to live up to their commitments to fight climate change, pointing Earth toward a future marked by more intense flooding, wildfires, drought, heat waves and species extinction, according to a report issued Wednesday by the United Nations.

Just 26 of 193 countries that agreed last year to step up their climate actions have followed through with more ambitious plans. The world’s top two polluters, China and the United States, have taken some action but have not pledged more this year, and climate negotiations between the two have been frozen for months.

Without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the report said, the planet is on track to warm by an average of 2.1 to 2.9 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels, by 2100.

That’s far higher than the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) set by the landmark Paris agreement in 2015, and it crosses the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic climate impacts significantly increases.

The United States, in passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies for cleaner technologies, has jumped forward in its ability to make good on its promise to cut emissions by between 50 and 52 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade.

But the new law will still only get the United States about 80 percent of the way to its current pledge to cut emissions, Ms. Fransen said. Mr. Höhne said the United States’ new law was the strongest move made by a major emitter in 2022, but was “30 years overdue.”

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