The United Nations Environment Programme has warned that cuts to CO2 emissions are happening too slowly to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 2C. The Third Emissions Gap Report 2012 suggests that meeting that target is still possible, but only with concerted international action.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “There are two realities encapsulated in this report-that bridging the gap remains do-able with existing technologies and policies; that there are many inspiring actions taking place at the national level on energy efficiency in buildings, investing in forests to avoid emissions linked with deforestation and new vehicle emissions standards alongside a remarkable growth in investment in new renewable energies worldwide, which in 2011 totaled close to US$260 billion”.
“Yet the sobering fact remains that a transition to a low carbon, inclusive Green Economy is happening far too slowly and the opportunity for meeting the 44 Gt target is narrowing annually,” he added.
“While governments work to negotiate a new international climate agreement to come into effect in 2020, they urgently need to put their foot firmly on the action pedal by fulfilling financial, technology transfer and other commitments under the UN climate convention treaties. There are also a wide range of complementary voluntary measures that can that can bridge the gap between ambition and reality now rather than later,” said Mr. Steiner.
Measurements by the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration show that atmospheric CO2 continues to rise.