The nations of the world have to seriously ramp up their clean energy ambitions because time is running out to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, a sweeping new United Nations report card says.
It’s the first “Global Stocktake” of the progress nearly 200 countries have made since they adopted the Paris agreement in 2015. By pushing nations to slash their greenhouse gas emissions, the global accord strives to avoid climate change so extreme that life on Earth would struggle to adapt.
The planet has gotten about 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter since the Industrial Revolution, and that’s already been enough to cause more extreme weather, intensify wildfires, and raise sea levels high enough to push coastal communities away from their homes. To keep those kinds of disasters from getting much worse, the Paris agreement seeks to limit warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius. The world doesn’t have much wiggle room left.
Since they adopted the Paris agreement, the report says, countries have taken enough action to slow global warming a bit. In other words, things could be much worse than they already are. But there’s much more work that needs to be done. Each year, greenhouse gas pollution has continued to grow globally. Those emissions need to peak by 2025 to achieve the Paris goals, the report says.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.