The world is unprepared for the Paris Agreement, a new report suggests.
In December 2015, nearly 200 countries around the world gathered in Paris to decide the best way to deal with climate change.
The end result was an agreement to keep global temperatures no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2.0 degrees Celsius) higher than they were in pre-industrial times; limit greenhouse gases produced by human activity to what plants, soil and sea can absorb from the atmosphere; and create partnerships to help developing nations adopt greener technology.
Of the 197 countries that participated in the Paris Agreement, 94 ratified the pact, which will enter into force on Nov. 4, 2016.
The world is not even close to being on track to uphold the agreement, according to the United Nations Environment Program.
Since the industrial revolution, temperatures have already risen about 1.8º F worldwide, halfway to the cutoff goal. Unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut by about 12 to 14 billion metric tons by 2030, the world has no hope of limiting the rise of temperatures globally to less than 3.6 degrees, the U.N. claimed.
The 3.6-degree target would prevent the worst effects of climate change predicted by scientists. Meeting that target would require major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s worst polluters, especially China and the United States, which hold the first and second place slots respectively.
With the Paris Agreement coming into effect tomorrow and the upcoming U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco next week, now is the time for governments to begin stepping up their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the U.N. stipulated.
Global warming, which is thought to be linked to greenhouse gas emissions, has already had massive consequences worldwide. Scientists have linked climate change to global sea levels rising more than 6 inches in the past century, droughts (and potentially megadroughts) in the western United States, stronger hurricanes, and the unpredictable Polar Vortex bringing colder winters to parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
Last year’s average global temperatures were the highest on record, and 2016 looks to be even warmer, researchers said.