With the next United Nations climate summit around the corner, reports have flooded the news cycle with the so-called horror global warming will wreak on human civilization if more is not done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U.N. delegates are gearing up to meet in Bonn, Germany, for this year’s climate summit in early November. The U.N. and allied group have wasted no time in promoting alarming data points about global warming ahead of the meeting.
“The human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible,” reads a new report published Monday in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet. The report doubles down on the claim that fighting global warming is “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”
Global warming is already making it too hot for people to work outside, spreads mosquito-borne illnesses and increases the cost for natural disasters, The Lancet report claims. The report paints an apocalyptic image of a future that could be averted by massive government programs.
The Lancet study, and others that have come out in the past few days, sparked widespread media coverage.
“Climate change fueling disasters, disease in ‘potentially irreversible’ ways, report warns,” The Washington Post reported of The Lancet study. USA Today ran with the headline “Climate change’s impact on human health is already here — and is ‘potentially irreversible,’ report says.”
The United Nations released an “emissions gap” report on Tuesday, sounding the alarm that not enough is done to keep projected global warming below 2 degrees Celsius — the goal of the Paris climate accord.
The pledges “that form the foundation of the Paris Agreement cover only approximately one-third of the emissions reductions needed to be on a least-cost pathway for the goal of staying well below 2°C,” the U.N. reported.
“The gap between the reductions needed and the national pledges made in Paris is alarmingly high,” reads a U.N. report. The U.N. calls for more emissions reductions through phasing out fossil fuels.
A separate 2017 report published by U.K. researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says global “carbon intensity” was “just short of the 3% average decarbonisation rate required to achieve the national targets pledged in the 2015 Paris Agreement.”
“More importantly, this rate is less than half of the 6.3% decarbonisation rate needed to limit global warming to well below two degrees – the main objective of the Paris Agreement,” PricewaterhouseCoopers U.K. reported.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also released a report Monday on global greenhouse gas concentrations, this year finding emissions increased at “record-breaking speed” in 2016.
“There’s more CO2 in the atmosphere now than any point in almost a million years,” USA Today reported and the taxpayer-funded Voice of America wrote: “WMO: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Highest in 800,000 Years.”
“We have never seen such big growth in one year as we have been seeing last year in carbon dioxide concentration,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told journalists.
He called “for governments to fulfil the pledges they made in Paris in 2015 to take steps to reduce global warming,” according to the United Nations News Centre.
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