UN: Emission reduction plans 'fall far short'

UN: Emission reduction plans 'fall far short'

A new report from the United Nations’s climate change agency said that plans proposed by countries to meet their goals under the Paris Agreement “fall far short” of what is needed. 

The report published Friday synthesized updated plans, called nationally determined contributions (NDCs), from countries that are parties to the treaty. 

It determined that under the plans, countries’ emissions would be 0.5 percent lower in 2030 than they were in 2010.

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that limiting the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees celsius would require reducing human-caused carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent by 2030 when compared to a 2010 level. 

“Today’s interim report... is a red alert for our planet,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. “The major emitters must step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions targets for 2030.”

Countries are expected to unveil updated NDCs ahead of a summit in Glasgow this November. The U.S. is expected to reveal its updated targets by Earth Day, and climate envoy John KerryJohn Kerry9/11 and US-China policy: The geopolitics of distraction Australia's duty to the world: Stop mining coal Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances MORE has stressed that countries including the U.S. must "raise ambition."

Former President Obama set the goal of reducing U.S. emissions by between 26 and 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025. 

The U.S. has not increased its commitments since Obama joined the agreement, while other countries have set more ambitious goals.

The synthesis is based on updated NDCs that represent 75 parties to the treaty. Executive Secretary of U.N. Climate Change Patricia Espinosa noted in a statement that it is a “snapshot, not a full picture.”