Insight: CO2 rises for the first time in four years

CO2 rises for the first time in four years

Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered.

What is the emissions gap?

For the last nine years, UN Environment have produced an assessment of the latest scientific studies on current and future emissions of greenhouse gases.

It highlights the difference between the level of greenhouse gas emissions that the world can sustain to keep temperatures within safe limits, with the levels that are likely based on the promises and actions taken by countries. This year’s report records the largest gap yet between where we are and where we need to be.

Does the report point the finger at countries that are doing badly?In some ways yes. The study says that countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU (including the UK), South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the US, are falling short of achieving their nationally determined contributions for 2030. Three countries, Brazil, China and Japan are currently on track, while three others, India, Russia and Turkey are set to beat their targets.

What happens now?This report is aimed at informing delegates to next week’s key climate conference in Katowice, Poland. Negotiators will be trying to finish the rules on how to implement the rule book of the Paris agreement – but the report’s authors hope it can push countries to greater levels of ambition.”Germany and Europe could demonstrate leadership in this area by pledging complete greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 and a clear strengthening of the emission reduction targets for 2030,” said Dr Gunnar Luderer.

Trump threatens to cut GM subsidies. Here’s the real story

Insight: The Lion King and other lion myths