By Laura Barron-Lopez - 08/06/14 09:12 AM EDT
Negotiations among global leaders in Paris next year meant to mitigate climate change and keep the global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius are likely to fail, according to a new study.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) report released Wednesday concludes that the outcome of next year's United Nations (U.N.) talks in Paris probably won't put the globe on the path to limiting temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius.
U.S. involvement in any future climate work is "crucial," the report states. It adds that the deal reached next year can be expected to "bend the curve of global emissions but will not put the globe on the path consistent with commonly stated long-term climate goals."
The report also states that the negations between leaders over the next 18 months heading into the talks will "heavily" influence global greenhouse gas emissions as far out as 2045 or 2050.
"We see emissions increasing through 2030 and, without additional international agreement, continuing to increase in the following decades," said MIT economics Professor Henry D. Jacoby in a questionnaire accompanying the study. "That raises the question, if it’s obvious in the early stages of the negotiation that we’re not getting on a path to temperature goals, what will be the nature of the follow-up process? We should be starting to have that discussion as well."
President Obama will attend a U.N. climate summit in New York next month to help build momentum for the talks in Paris. The administration's climate agenda at home and abroad faces harsh criticism from Republican lawmakers who oppose the president's domestic regulations.
Opponents of climate policies argue that regulations on U.S. power plants will have little if any impact on global emissions, and would hurt the economy.
But since the administration's proposed the new carbon pollution standards on existing power plants, Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy has said the rules are "internationally changing the tone of the conversation."