The international goal to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius is officially on life support. A United Nations-backed panel of climate scientists warned in a new report released Monday that the world may be on track to warm by more than 3 degrees — twice the Paris Agreement target — in a change that would painfully remake societies and life on the planet.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes after years of net-zero pledges by national governments, cities, businesses and investors, and it sounds a stark warning on the still-unchecked emissions of greenhouse gas emissions pushing to record levels. The focus of this report, the third released since August 2021, is on humanity’s vast arsenal of technology, know-how and wealth that remain insufficiently deployed in efforts to ensure a livable climate in the future.
Time to limit warming is perilously short. Greenhouse gas pollution must peak "at the latest before 2025” to keep targets alive, the IPCC scientists write. Based on national pledges made before last November’s climate negotiations Glasgow, Scotland, emissions in 2030 "would make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5 C during the 21st century,” the authors conclude. That puts the loss of the first goal of the Paris Agreement within the lifetimes of many people now alive.