The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has said that there is currently “no credible pathway to 1.5°C” in its latest report.
It is calling for a quick and radical transformation of the energy sector to stop the Paris Agreement becoming entirely unachievable.
“We have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases – and stop doing it fast,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
The report reveals that countries’ carbon reduction pledges made at COP26 will only see a 1% cut in the greenhouse gas emissions needed by 2030.
This reduction equates to 0.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, with the researchers claiming that a 45% is critical if 1.5°C is to remain realistic.
As the latest @UNEP Emissions Gap report makes clear, we are headed for economy-destroying levels of global heating.
We need #ClimateAction on all fronts – and we need it now.
We must close the emissions gap before catastrophe closes in on us all.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 27, 2022
If the current level of carbon reduction persists, by 2100 the world could have warmed by 2.6°C, UNEP warns.
The report reads: “In the best-case scenario, full implementation of unconditional [carbon goals] and additional net zero emissions commitments point to only a 1.8°C increase, so there is hope.
“However, this scenario is not currently credible based on the discrepancy between current emissions, short-term [climate] targets and long-term net zero targets.”
For a 45% cut in emissions to be possible, the UN is stating that a “shake-up” is needed in the energy sector – heavily reducing the world’s reliance on fossil fuels for industry, transport, buildings and power.
“We had our chance to make incremental changes but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster,” Andersen added.