Date
26 September 2017
An environmental activist holds an effigy during a protest in Lima where negotiators are trying to hammer out a deal on emission targets. Photo: Reuters
An environmental activist holds an effigy during a protest in Lima where negotiators are trying to hammer out a deal on emission targets. Photo: Reuters

Climate negotiators doubt greenhouse goal

Cuts in carbon dioxide emissions deep enough to prevent a two-degree rise in world temperatures are unlikely to get widespread support among countries negotiating a climate change agreement.

Officials from nearly 200 countries have been squabbling over a framework for cutting enough greenhouse-gas emissions in coming decades to limit temperature gains that leading scientific models predict will occur, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Each country is expected to submit its own plan for cutting emissions beyond 2020 as part of a climate deal expected next year in Paris.

The three biggest sources of carbon dioxide — China, the United States and the European Union — have made their pledges and other leading economies are expected to do so by March.

However, officials involved in the talks in the Peruvian capital Lima worry other countries will not agree to cut emissions deeply enough in 2015 to put their economies on a path likely to achieve the temperature goal.

To make up the difference, the agreement will likely allow governments to step up their proposed cuts every five years or so.

“The reality is that in the first iteration you won’t get enough ambition to get to two degrees,” said Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change.

“That’s painful for a number of countries that suffer very, very much, well before we get to two degrees.”

Island nations worried about sea-level gains as well as other countries facing climate extremes want to limit the average surface temperature of the globe to no more than a degree or 1.5 degrees celsius over pre-industrial temperatures.

The World Bank said that while current temperatures are only 0.8 degree above pre-industrial times, significantly more warming is baked in given the current and predicted gases in the atmosphere.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

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