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Emissions cuts too slow to fight climate change, warns UN report

November 22, 2012

Emissions cuts too slow to fight climate change, warns UN report

The Emissions Gap report, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Climate Foundation, was released days before the convening of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha and shows that greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 percent above where they need to be in 2020.

Instead of declining, the concentration of warming gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), are actually increasing in the atmosphere ? up to around 20 percent since 2000. Emission levels, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, need to come down by 14% by 2020 for the world to reach a pathway that could keep the global temperature rise below 2C. Scientists say that those emissions are contributing to climate change and that failure to contain them could have dangerous consequences, including rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.

UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said that bridging the gap remains achievable and that there are many “inspiring” actions at the national level on renewable energy, energy efficiency, protecting forests, and vehicle emissions standards.

“Yet the sobering fact remains that a transition to a low-carbon, including green economy is happening far too slowly and the opportunity of meeting the 44 gigatonne target is narrowing annually,” Steiner said.


Read more at The Guardian and at UNEP

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