Most countries aren’t hitting Paris climate goals, and everyone will pay the price – National Geographic
The majority of the carbon emission reduction pledges for 2030 that 184 countries made under the Paris Agreement aren’t nearly enough to keep global warming well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). Some countries won’t achieve their pledges, and some of the world’s largest carbon emitters will continue to increase their emissions, according to a panel of world-class climate scientists.Their report, “The Truth Behind the Paris Agreement Climate Pledges,” warns that by 2030, the failure to reduce emissions will cost the world a minimum of $2 billion per day in economic losses from weather events made worse by human-induced climate change. Moreover, weather events and patterns will hurt human health, livelihoods, food, and water, as well as biodiversity.On Monday, November 4, the Trump Administration submitted a formal request to officially pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement next November. Every nation in the world has agreed “to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change,” according to language in the pact.“Countries need to double and triple their 2030 reduction commitments to be aligned with the Paris target,” says Sir Robert Watson, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and co-author of the report that closely examined the 184 voluntary pledges under the Paris Agreement.“We have the technology and knowledge to make those emissions cuts, but what’s missing are strong enough policies and regulations to make it happen,” Watson says in an interview. “Right now the world is on a pathway to between 3 and 4 degrees C (5.5 and 7F) by the end of the century.”That pathway risks triggering natural feedbacks such as massive thawing of permafrost or widespread forest die-offs, which could lead to additional uncontrollable warming. Scientists have called this the Hothouse Earth scenario, where sea levels rise 30 to 200 feet (10 to 60 meters) and large parts of the planet become uninhabitable.