cloudy.png
Monday January 17th, 2022 4:53PM
12:00AM ( 16 hours ago ) Weather Alert
3:00PM ( 2 days ago ) Weather Alert

Little time, but 'mountain to climb' at UN climate talks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The United Nations climate summit in Glasgow has made “some serious toddler steps” toward cutting emissions but far from the giant leaps needed to limit global warming to internationally accepted goals, two new analyses and top officials said Tuesday.

And time is running out on the two weeks of negotiations.

The president of the climate talks, Alok Sharma, told high-level government ministers at the U.N. conference to reach out to their capitals and bosses soon to see if they can get more ambitious pledges because “we have only a few days left.”

This month's summit has seen such limited progress that a United Nations Environment Programme analysis of new pledges found they weren't enough to improve future warming scenarios. All they did was trim the “emissions gap” — how much carbon pollution can be spewed without hitting dangerous warming levels— a few tenths of a percentage point, according to the review released Tuesday.

The analysis found that by 2030, the world will be emitting 51.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, 1.5 billion tons less than before the latest pledges. To achieve the limit first set in the 2015 Paris climate accord, which came out of a similar summit, the world can only emit 12.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2030.

A separate analysis by independent scientists found a slight decrease in future warming, but one still insufficient to limit the warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

“There’s some serious toddler steps,” United Nations Environment Programme Director Inger Andersen said in an interview with The Associated Press a few minutes after the U.N. analysis was finished. “But they are not the leaps we need to see, by any stretch of the imagination.”

In Glasgow, officials touted advances, but not necessarily success.

“We are making progress,” Sharma said, “but we still have a mountain to climb over the next few days, and what has been collectively committed to goes some way, but certainly not all the way, to keeping 1.5 within reach.”

Andersen acknowledged that none of the three main U.N. criteria for success for the two-week climate talks has been achieved so far. They are cutting greenhouse gas emissions by about half by 2030; securing $100 billion a year in aid from rich countries to poor nations; and having half of that money be for for developing nations to adapt to global warming’s worst harms.

The second analysis by Climate Action Tracker, which for years has monitored nations’ emission-cutting pledges, said based on those submitted targets the world is now on track to warm 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times by the end of this century. That’s a far cry from the 2015 Paris climate deal overarching limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees) and its fallback limit of 2 degrees Celsius.

Given what’s been pledged “we are likely to be in that area 2.4 degrees, which is still catastrophic climate change and far, far away from the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said climate scientist Niklas Hohne of the New Climate Institute and the Climate Action Tracker.

Hohne’s group, independent of the U.N., also looked at how much warming there would be if other less firm national promises were put into effect. If all the submitted national targets and other promises that have a bit of the force of law are included, future warming drops down to 2.1 degrees.

And in the “optimistic scenario” if all the net-zero pledges for mid-century are taken into account, warming would be 1.8 degrees, Hohne said. That’s the same figure as the International Energy Agency came up with for that optimistic scenario.

Andersen said success is about her great-grandchildren living in a world with warming kept to the level outlined in the Paris accord and that “the kids on the street” protesting in Glasgow help the United Nations in pushing negotiators to do more.

“Progress happens at meetings. Success is delivered into people’s lives when their livelihoods and their health and well-being is improved,” Andersen told the AP.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who brought her climate-celebrity star power to the U.N. climate talks on Tuesday along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told reporters she had a message for those youth protesters: “Stay in the streets. Keep pushing.”

As “high level” ministers try to forge a deal by Friday, they have a big gap to bridge. Or more accurately, multiple gaps: there's a trust gap, a wealth gap and a north-south gap based on money, history and future threats.

On one side of the gap are nations that developed and became rich from the Industrial Revolution fueled by coal, oil and gas that started in the U.K. On the other side are the nations that haven't developed yet and haven't gotten rich and are now being told those fuels are too dangerous for the planet.

The key financial issue is the $100 billion a year pledge first made in 2009. The developed nations still haven’t reached the $100 billion a year mark. This year, the rich nations increased their aid to just shy of $80 billion a year, still short of what was promised.

“Everybody here is livid,” said Saleemul Huq, a climate science and policy expert who is director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh

Huq said it's more than just the money, it's important to bridge the gap in trust between rich nations and poor nations.

“They reneged on their promise. They failed to deliver it,” Huq said. “And they seem not to care about it. And, so why should we trust anything they say anymore?”

Andersen and Sharma still hold out hope.

“We’re not done yet. We still have a couple of days,” Andersen said. “And so we’re certainly from our side, from the United Nations side, we’re going to try to hold everyone’s feet to the fire.”

___

Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report from Glasgow.

___

Read stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.

___

Follow Seth Borenstein and Aniruddha Ghosal on Twitter at @borenbears and @aniruddgh1

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Little time, but 'mountain to climb' at UN climate talks
Time is running out on the two-week United Nations climate talks in Glasgow
11:24AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Bulgaria sees record COVID-19 deaths amid low vaccinations
Bulgaria had 334 COVID-19 patients die in a single day, the country’s highest daily toll since the start of the pandemic
11:23AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Max Cleland dies; senator and veteran lost limbs in Vietnam
Max Cleland, who lost three limbs to a hand grenade blast in Vietnam and went on to represent his native Georgia in the U.S. Senate, has died
11:21AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Owl habitat cuts by Trump appointees used 'faulty' science
U.S. wildlife officials say political appointees in the Trump administration relied on faulty science to justify stripping habitat protections for the imperiled northern spotted owl
10:30AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Sununu seeking 4th term as governor, won't challenge Hassan
Republican Chris Sununu says he’ll seek a fourth term as New Hampshire governor and won’t run for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan
10:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
High court to hear Texas case about prayer during executions
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case about whether Texas must allow a chaplain to pray audibly and touch a prisoner during an execution
9:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UK publisher begins appeal over Meghan privacy lawsuit
A British newspaper publisher has begun its court appeal against a judge’s ruling that it invaded the privacy of the Duchess of Sussex by publishing parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, arguing that she knew the letter would potentially be published
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
Ukraine hits another record for daily coronavirus deaths
Ukraine has hit another record for daily coronavirus deaths amid a spike in infections fueled by public reluctance to receive vaccines
10:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Soccer star Rashford honored for fighting child poverty
Soccer star Marcus Rashford has received an honorary award from Prince William for his successful campaign to provide free meals to disadvantaged children during the pandemic
9:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Max Cleland dies; senator and veteran lost limbs in Vietnam
Max Cleland, who lost three limbs to a hand grenade blast in Vietnam and went on to represent his native Georgia in the U.S. Senate, has died
11:21AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Drone video at Rittenhouse murder trial shows first shooting
Drone video played Tuesday for jurors at Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial showed the moment that Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum, the first person killed during a night of turbulent protests on the streets of Kenosha
11:16AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Independent analysis still sees warming too high
Efforts leading up to and in climate talks have trimmed a couple tenths of a degree off future warming, but still not near enough to reach any of the international goals, according to an analysis by an authoritative independent group of scientists
11:14AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Despite reopening, the US is still closed to many in world
The U.S. says that it’s inviting the global community to visit now that the government has ended the ban on travelers from 33 countries
11:10AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Crowd surge wasn't mentioned in Astroworld operational plan
A 56-page event operations plan for the Astroworld music festival included protocols for dangerous scenarios including an active shooter, bomb or terrorist threats, and severe weather, but it didn't include information on what to do in the event of a crowd surge
11:08AM ( 19 minutes ago )