Even after the world sealed a historic climate deal in Paris, the UN’s climate chief is worried humanity won’t be able break its fossil fuel habit in time to avert catastrophe, she told AFP Thursday.
“My concern is whether the transformation is going to happen fast enough to avert the worst impacts,” Christiana Figueres said, referring to the global shift from carbon-polluting fossil fuels to green energy.
“Greenhouse gas emissions have to peak quickly and descend,” she said in an interview, as diplomats wrapped up their first negotiating session since hammering out the landmark pact in December.
“It is a race against the clock.”
Figueres, from Costa Rica, took on the UN climate brief in the aftermath of the failed 2009 Copenhagen summit, and played a key role in laying the groundwork for the world’s first universal climate deal.
Under the Paris Agreement, 195 nations vowed to hold average global warming to well under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and even 1.5 C if possible.
Barely 1 C of warming so far has fuelled a crescendo of devastating droughts, super storms and rising seas threatening the homes and livelihoods of tens of millions.
But the tally of national pledges to curb greenhouse gases still falls far short of the mark, and scientists say they must be rapidly strengthened to hit the Paris goal.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-05-climate-clock-chief.html#jCp
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