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Climate Change

Climate headed for at least 2.4 °C of warming by 2100, UN report says

Greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut more deeply by 2030 to meet global goal

by Cheryl Hogue
October 29, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 38


Wildfire on a hill in Sant Vicenç de Castellet, Barcelona, Spain, July 13, 2022
Credit: Shutterstock
The increased number of wildfires in 2022, like this one in Spain, show that the world needs to quickly slash its greenhouse gas emissions, the UNEP executive director says.

The world is hurtling toward a temperature rise of between 2.4 and 2.6 °C above preindustrial levels by 2100, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says in a report.

This rise would significantly miss the end-of-century goal of “well below” 2 °C and preferably no more than 1.5 °C that countries set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The report, which UNEP produces annually, examines the gap between countries’ climate pledges and collective action on global cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to comply with the Paris Agreement.

“This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires: we have to stop filling our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and stop doing it fast,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen says in a statement.

“We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over,” Andersen says. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, by 2030 the world must slash greenhouse gas emissions an additional 45% over current reduction expectations, according to the report.


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