Global temperature rises could bring 'destructive' effects, UN warns

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 26, 2019 - Duration: 02:23s

Global temperature rises could bring 'destructive' effects, UN warns

Countries need to cut their greenhouse gas emissions much faster than agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN has warned, or risk "wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts." David Doyle reports.


Global temperature rises could bring 'destructive' effects, UN warns

The world needs transformational change, with countries cutting their greenhouse gas emissions much faster then under the Paris Climate agreement - with the alternative being quote "wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts." That message came from the United Nations Environment Programme on Tuesday (November 26) in its Emissions Gap Report.

Lead author John Christensen said that under current national pledges to cut emissions, global temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2 degrees Celsius this century.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEAD AUTHOR OF NEW UNITED NATIONS "EMISSIONS GAP REPORT", JOHN CHRISTENSEN, SAYING: "That's really a world you do not want to experience.

And I think, being a grandfather also, you don't want to leave that for your grandkids, I mean you would be ashamed of yourself if you knew the trouble they would get into." Christensen said the main concern is that, under a three degrees increase, agricultural yield will significantly suffer - hitting areas like the African continent the hardest.

Under the Paris accord, governments agreed to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

Last year the U.N.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of huge global changes if that target is not met, such as the loss of nearly all coral reefs and most Arctic sea ice.

Inger Anderson, Executive director at the UN's Environment Programme, said time is being wasted.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME, INGER ANDERSEN, SAYING: "Had we acted in 2010, we would have had to reduce our emissions by 3.2 per cent a year, by 3.3 per cent a year.

Now, because of climate procrastination, which we have essentially had during these ten years, we are looking at a 7.6 percent reduction every year.

Is that possible?


Will it take political will?


Will we need to have the private sector lean in?


But the science tells us that we can do this." The report was released ahead of a UN climate summit in Madrid and on Tuesday summit host Spain's acting energy minister, Teresa Ribera criticized some nations for their lack of action.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S ACTING ENERGY MINISTER, TERESA RIBERA, SAYING: "The worst thing in a situation like ours is the silent complicity.

I think it's the hardest part.

And that is all around us." The report named the United States - which has begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris agreement - as one of the big greenhouse gas emitters - alongside Brazil and Japan.

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