NEWS

Nations must triple efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions

Immediate, drastic action is needed to keep global warming under 2 °C, according to United Nations report.

Search for this author in:

Buildings can just be seen behind a leafless tree during heavy smog in Jinan, China

Heavy smog shrouds buildings in Jinan, China, in 2016.Credit: Reuters

Governments of the world need to triple their current efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in order to prevent global warming of more than 2 °C by 2030, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in its annual “emissions gap” report.

Released on 27 November ― just a week before the latest UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland ― the UNEP report projects that current national policies would allow global greenhouse-gas emissions to rise by around 10% by 2030, compared with 2017 levels (see ‘Top emitters’).

But emissions would need to decrease by 25% over the same period to maintain a likely chance of limiting warming to 2 °C. Countries would need to reduce their emissions by 55% to restrict warming to below 1.5 °C.

If nations don’t increase their commitments to reducing greenhouse gases before 2030 — and follow through with emissions reductions — the 2 °C and 1.5 °C targets might move out of reach, the report states.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07566-9
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the daily Nature Briefing email newsletter

Stay up to date with what matters in science and why, handpicked from Nature and other publications worldwide.

Sign Up