Emissions: world has four times the work or one-third of the time

New synthesis shows what a wasted decade means for the climate pact made in Paris.

N. Höhne et al., Nature (2020)

This article, published by Nature in March 2020, highlights the urgency of action in order to deliver on the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The authors explain that in 2010, the world thought it had 30 years to halve global emissions of greenhouse gases, before going on to explain that today we know this must happen in ten years to minimize the effects of climate change.

However, as it stands, proposed climate action by all nations is a long way off – rather than halving emissions by 2030, countries’ climate proposals will overall lead to a slight increase. At the same time, global annual greenhouse-gas emissions increased by 14% between 2008 and 2018 – meaning work must be done at an even faster rate than previously projected.

The piece concludes that governments, the private sector and communities need to switch into crisis mode, make climate pledges more ambitious and focus on early and aggressive action to have any chance of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius.