The latest UN Environment Programme report (UNEP) states that average temperatures are likely to rise by three to five degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. In order to prevent this and be able to fit within the 2 degrees world target, urgent actions should be taken.
Fifty five scientists from 20 countries, who took part in the compilation of the report, estimated that greenhouse gas emissions should be cut with as much as 14% to a figure of 44 billion tonnes in 2020. If no action is taken, the emissions are expected to be 58 billion tonnes in eight years time.
According to Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director, this target is very hard to achieve, given that the current estimates are 2 billion tonnes higher than what was said last year. UNEP expert John Christensen urged countries to take immediate action to reduce their greenhouse emissions.
Moreover, in this third UNEP report, it is stated that since year 2000, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has risen by 20%. UNEP officials reported that several countries have lowered their non-binding reduction pledges that were made in 2009 under the Copenhagen Accord.
Even if the world reaches the target of 2 degrees by 2020, the report emphasizes that all countries should continue making cuts so that the temperatures are stabilized, with emissions dropping to 37 billion tonnes by 2030 and 21 billion by 2050..
According to UNEP chief scientist Joseph Alcamo, technically this target is possible to be achieved. The report highlights possible sectors that can cut emissions including buildings, power generation and transport.
This is the second report released within a week before the opening of the UN climate talks in Doha Quatar, first by the World Bank and now by UNEP.