United Nations negotiators meeting in South America this week are optimistic they may finally achieve the elusive deal on climate change after more than two decades.
However, experts are warming it probably will not be enough to stave off the near-term impact of global warming, according to the New York Times.
For the next two weeks, thousands of diplomats from around the globe will gather in the desert metropolis of Lima, Peru, to draft an agreement intended to stop the global rise of planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution.
The meeting comes just weeks after a landmark announcement by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China committing the world’s two largest carbon polluters to cuts in their emissions.
UN negotiators said they believe progress could end a longstanding impasse in the climate talks, spurring other countries to sign similar commitments.
But while scientists and climate policy experts welcome the new momentum ahead of the Lima talks, they warn that it now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees fahrenheit.
According to researchers, that is the tipping point at which the world will be locked into a near-term future of drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding — events that could harm the world’s population and economy.
Recent reports show that there may be no way to prevent the planet’s temperature from rising, given the current level of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and the projected rate of emissions expected to continue before any new deal is carried out.
That fact is driving the urgency of the Lima talks, which are expected to produce a draft document, to be finalized over the next year and signed by world leaders in Paris in December 2015.
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