The clock is ticking on climate change

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Published: December 7, 2019 2:21:00 AM

With just 12 years of emissions left to exhaust the carbon budget for 1.5°C warming, a planetary climate crisis is looming.

climate change, climate policies, wildfires, fossil fuels, floods, carbon budget, carbon credits, climate crisisDisasters rooted in climate change have forced 20 million people to leave their homes annually over the past decade. (Reuters photo)

With current climate policies of the nations, the world is on the path to heat up by 3.2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. At a 1.1°C warming, the world is already facing disastrous consequences of climate change, from floods and wildfires to unusual chilly spells in certain areas. Action on the phasing out of fossil fuels, a large source of greenhouse gases, has been muted—the UN’s Production Gap report estimates that the world is on track to produce 150% more coal in 2030 than the absolute 2°C heating compliance limit.

 

With just 12 years of emissions left to exhaust the carbon budget for 1.5°C warming, a planetary climate crisis is looming. Disasters rooted in climate change have forced 20 million people to leave their homes annually over the past decade. One of the key points of discussion at the CoP25 that is underway in Spain will be the modalities of carbon markets, that will allow big emitters to buy carbon credits from countries that keep well within their emission goals. For it to work, countries will have to commit to sharper cuts—emissions must go down by 7.6% per year over next decade if the world is to keep to the 2°C pathway—and developed nations must agree to stick to common but differentiated responsibilities.

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