There is a “very high risk” that the most ambitious global warming limit set in the Paris climate agreement is likely to be exceeded by the 2040s, according to a draft United Nations (UN) report.
Only a dramatic and unprecedented shift away from fossil fuels will enable world governments to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial times, it said.
Hitting this target would “involve removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” said the report compiled by scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Sent out for comments from governments and experts this week, a copy of the current draft report was obtained by Reuters.
Questioned about its contents, the IPCC said it did not comment on the contents of draft reports while work is on-going as “the text can change substantially” between the current draft and the final version.
Changes could still be made as a result of feedback from reviewers and additional research findings published after the current draft was completed. The final version is due to be released in October.
As part of the Paris agreement, the decision was made to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels”.
In total, 195 countries signed the accord and 173 have become party to the document which aims to curb global carbon emissions and contain global warming.
However, US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement last year, claiming it put American workers – particularly in the coal industry – at an “economic disadvantage”.
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