A recent study shows that the commitments made by major governments to curb greenhouse gas emissions will still subject the world to a dangerous temperature increase.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said repeatedly that in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit the total global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. According to a press release from the European Commission Joint Research Center, however, our current climate commitments from even the most developed nations may not be enough to keep the world safe.
So far, 155 countries accounting for roughly 90 percent of total global emissions have submitted climate plans, or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions IINDCs) to the united Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ahead of the 2015 global climate talks in Paris.
The Joint Research Center’s assessment of the plans submitted by these countries does not paint a rosy picture for the future of humanity on Earth. Even if all of the countries who have submitted plans were able to follow them faithfully, average global temperature is still slated to increase by a level of three degrees Celsius, a whole degree above the accepted safe level. This would be roughly 17 percent above the 2010 level by 2030.
Even if each country cooperates with efforts to mitigate climate change, it may still be too late. Many scientists agree that the only way to ensure temperatures don’t rise past a dangerous level is to cease the use of fossil fuels almost immediately, but world leaders agree that there is little chance of this happening.
We will have to wait until the December Paris climate talks this year to see of nations are willing to step it up even further.