Study: Emissions Targets Won’t Halt Planet’s Warming

The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change pledged to cap global temperature rises at 2 degrees Celsius at the 2010 summit in Cancun, but new figures show greenhouse gas emissions hit a record high last year. According to the United Nations, the world is now on pace for a global temperature rise of between 3 and 5 degrees. Unveiling the latest findings, the chief scientist of the U.N. Environment Programme, Joe Alcamo, warned that current emissions standards will be insufficient to stop devastating climate change.

Joe Alcamo: "Over 45 scientists from around the world came to the conclusion that by 2020, if we just complied with current pledges that the countries have made to reduce emissions, global emissions would not be low enough to be on track to the 2-degree climate target. So, in other words, we cannot wait until 2020 to have stringent emission reductions. We know what the challenge is. It’s a question now of taking action. Between now and 2020, through the negotiations, we can tighten up the rules for complying with pledges. That would lead to a reduction in emissions."

Tune into Democracy Now! starting next Monday as we continue our annual coverage of the U.N. Climate Change Conference.

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