The limit set by the Paris agreement could be reached in 6 years

Editorial with Belga

4 hours ago

Even if we meet planned emissions cuts, climate targets are falling short, study shows.

If the world continues to emit the same amount of greenhouse gases as in 2022, the symbolic milestone of 1.5 degrees of global warming will be reached in just six years, according to a recent study by British researchers. According to the latter, the “emissions budget” turns out to be even tighter than originally estimated.

In 2015, COP21 in Paris decided to limit warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era. Since then, many scientists have made estimates of the total amount of greenhouse gases that could lead to this limit. According to the 2021 Global Climate Report, this estimate was 494 billion tons of CO2.

Researchers at Imperial College London, led by Dr Robert Lamboll, used a new computer model to simulate the effects of climate change. Their findings, published Monday in the scientific journal Nature, reveal that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, the 1.5 degree limit will be exceeded by 2028.

Goals become less and less achievable

The United Nations aims to halve net emissions by 2030 and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, even if it succeeds, scientists warn that there is only a 40% chance of meeting the climate targets.

The difference between the two estimates is largely explained by the use of a new computer program that simulates climate change caused by greenhouse gases. Dr Lamboll was also able to access more recent data with earlier data for 2020, when global emissions had fallen due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2022, these emissions have again reached record highs, with forecasts pointing to a new record this year.

Darell Goodwin

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