COP26 in Glasgow

COP26 agreements so far won’t reduce warming enough, independent analysis says

GLASGOW, Scotland — 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.

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) or even its fall-back limit of 2 degrees Celsius.

The world has already warmed 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times.

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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. And his group’s estimate is more optimistic than a United Nations Environment Program update Tuesday that has future warming still at 2.5 to 2.7 degrees.

Hohne’s group 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 — and they have little substance in them — 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 and a tenth of a degree warmer than an independent Australian climate scientist calculated.