Paris Agreement enters into force, but emissions continue to rise

  1. As the Paris Agreement enters into force on November 4, a UN Environment Programme report released has shown that global emissions have continued to rise despite some signs of emissions from fossil fuels and industries stabilising.
  2. The “emissions gap” for 2030 is 12 to 14 GtCO2e (gigatonne CO2 equivalent) compared with 2°C scenarios, and for 1.5°C the gap is 3 GtCO2e larger.
  3. Emissions gap is the difference between the emissions levels in 2020 necessary to meet climate targets, and the levels expected that year if countries fulfil their promises to cut greenhouse gases.
  4. So, the emissions gap reveals how much more needs to be done by countries in order to meet the target of keeping global warming levels below the 2°C safe limit as agreed in the Paris climate accord.
  5. UNEP report further shows that even if fully implemented, the unconditional Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) - voluntary climate action targets of countries - are only consistent with staying below an increase in temp. of 3.2°C by 2100, which can have disastrous consequences for climate.
  6. The report has therefore emphasised on pre-2020 action by countries.
  7. Raising ambition before 2020 is likely the last chance to keep the option of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This means that in the next three years countries must take sufficient emissions reduction action to aim for the more ambitious target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C in the Paris Agreement.
  8. While the G20 countries are collectively on track to meet their Cancun climate pledges for 2020, these pledges fall short of creating a sufficiently ambitious starting point to align with the temperature target of the Paris Agreement.
  9. In Cancun, 2011, nations had agreed to GHG emission cuts ahead of 2020.
  10. Three of the G20 parties – China, the EU, and India – are on track to meet these pledges without purchasing offsets.
  11. With 94 countries of 197 UN member nations having ratified the Paris climate agreement till now, hopes are high that the treaty will be able to lead the way to a carbon neutral world.

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IAS Amol Srivastava attended UPSC Mock Interview organized by Chanakya IAS Academy under the guidance of Experienced personnel and Retired IAS officers.
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