• UN Treaty Would Only Delay Global Warming Apocalypse By 8 Months

    Even with aggressive cuts to carbon dioxide emissions planned by some of the world’s biggest emitters, it’s only enough to delay global temperature increases by eight months.

    The International Energy Agency analyzed CO2 emissions cuts already submitted to the United Nations ahead of the climate summit set to take place in Paris later this year. By May 2015, the IEA reported that “countries accounting for 34% of energy-related emissions had submitted their new pledges.” Yet, even these pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions will only stave off global warming of 2 degrees Celsius for eight months.

    “[T]he world’s estimated remaining carbon budget consistent with a 50% chance of keeping the rise in temperature below 2 °C is consumed by around 2040 – eight months later than is projected in the absence of” emissions reduction pledges, according to IEA. The United Nations and environmentalists warn warming above 2 degrees Celsius would be dangerous for mankind and the environment.

    IEA reports that while greenhouse gas emissions from energy use ebb in the coming decades, they don’t peak fast enough. By 2030, IEA predicts that renewable energy will become the leading source of electricity, but even that’s not enough to stave off temperature rises above what the United Nations wants to avoid.

    “This underlines the need for all countries to submit ambitious [climate pledges] for COP21 and for these [climate pledges] to be recognised as a basis upon which to build stronger future action,” IEA reported. “If stronger action is not forthcoming after 2030, the path in the INDC Scenario would be consistent with an average temperature increase of around 2.6 °C by 2100 and 3.5 °C after 2200.”

    Eight months of leeway is probably not what politicians want to hear, especially after many developed countries have committed themselves to deep emissions cuts. It also directs more criticism at China, which has promised to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 but given no clear plan on how it will lower emissions after that.

    China and other developing countries, however, are demanding rich countries give $100 billion a year in climate aid to help these nations decarbonize their economies and brace themselves for higher energy prices and low growth.

    Concerns over climate aid — how much wealth should be transferred from rich countries to poor countries — has been a major sticking point in past United Nations climate talks. Such concerns caused United Nations climate talks to fall apart in late 2014. China led a group of developing nations in demanding more climate aid — despite already promising President Barack Obama they would cut emissions.

    The “$10 billion is just one 10th of that objective,” and “we do not have any clear road map of meeting that target for 2020,” said Su Wei, China’s lead climate negotiator, according to Bloomberg. Su Wei added that global warming aid is “a trust-building process.”

    “The significance of the China-U.S. announcement is that there’s a general understanding by the leaders of the two countries that climate change is a real threat,” Su Wei said. “A joint announcement does not necessarily blur the distinction between developed and developing countries. They announced their actions but that was in a different manner.”

    [h/t: Watts Up With That]

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