Greenhouse gas emissions expected to pass ideal limit by 2020, UN warns

Emissions level will be up to 12 billion tons of gas higher than ideal. UN urges countries to fight to slow warming.

Greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 will be between 8 and 12 billion tonnes more than the level needed to keep global warming at just 2 ° C and prevent severe climate change, a United Nations report estimated ( UN) published on Tuesday (5th).

The annual report of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) analyzed countries' current promises to reduce emissions, and whether they would be sufficient.
The study found the difference of 8 to 12 billion tons per year from the analysis of government promises and necessary reductions that scientists estimate for 2020 to avert the potentially devastating effects of global warming. The estimate was slightly different from last year's 8-13 billion survey.
It is "increasingly difficult" to stay on course to limit temperature rises, and global action is needed to close the emissions gap, the report says. In 2010, countries agreed to act to limit the temperature increase, but many failed to make emission reductions to back up promises.

Representatives from more than 190 countries will meet in Warsaw, Poland next week for a UN conference to discuss emissions cuts under a new climate pact, which will be signed by 2015, but will not take effect until 2020.
Scientists said annual emissions could not be more than about 44 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) per year by 2020 to have a good chance of limiting the overall temperature rise to below 2 ° C.
Global total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 are already 50.1 gigatonnes, highlighting the scale of the task below. "Delayed action means a higher rate of short-term climate change and likely short-term climate impacts, as well as continued use of energy-intensive and carbon-intensive infrastructure," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, in a statement.

Studies have shown that emissions could be reduced by 14-20 gigatonnes per year at a cost of up to $ 100 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent if promises were more ambitious and expanded to include all countries and more industries, the report said.
The report cites increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, improvements in agricultural practices and reform of fossil fuel subsidies as ways to reduce emissions.
"As we head to Warsaw for the last round of climate negotiations, there is a real need for ambition to be increased by all countries: ambition that can push countries faster and further towards resolving emissions gaps and a sustainable future. for all, "said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Basic Convention on Climate Change, in the statement.

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