U.N. Says Rapid Action Required To Avoid Worst Effects Of Climate Change
New findings from the United Nations call for rapid and unprecedented cuts in greenhouse gas emissions if the world wants to avert increasingly intensifying consequences, according to The Washington Post.
Millions of protesters have taken to the streets this past year over the recent devastating hurricanes, relentless wildfires, and crippling heat waves, in order to demand more attention to an urgent problem.
The U.N. report, whose authors acknowledged that the findings are “bleak”, found that global temperatures are on pace to rise as much as 3.9 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.
If the pace continues, coral reefs, already dying is some places, would likely dissolve in the acidic oceans, coastal cities would be hindered by rising seas, and severe heat would become unbearable in much of the world.
“Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in a statement. “We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”
Tuesday’s report notes that the pledges that nations made in the Paris Accords are inadequate. It found that holding warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius would require countries to triple their current promises.
The intergovernmental World Meteorological Organization reported on Monday that greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere had hit a record high and that the trend “means that future generations will be confronted with increasingly severe impacts of climate change.”
Although 70 countries have told U.N. officials they plan to further their ambitious national climate pledges in 2020, the world’s largest emitters, such as the U.S., have yet to follow suit.
“A number of encouraging developments have taken place,” the authors of Tuesday’s report wrote, “and the political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with voters and protesters, particularly youth, making it clear that it is their number one issue.”