A new climate change report out recently showed that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will be impossible without immediate, large-scale emissions cuts, the UN chief said.
The United in Science 2021 report, published by a range of UN agencies and scientific partners just weeks before the COP26 climate summit, said climate change and its impacts were accelerating. And a temporary reduction in carbon emissions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had done nothing to slow the relentless warming, it found.
The 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, struck at the COP21 summit, called for capping global warming at well below 2 C above the pre-industrial level, and ideally closer to 1.5C.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the report's findings were "an alarming appraisal of just how far off course we are" in meeting the Paris goals.
"This year has seen fossil fuel emissions bounce back, greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to rise and severe human-enhanced weather events that have affected health, lives and livelihoods on every continent," he wrote in the report's foreword.