Sunday, January 24, 2021 | ePaper

World leaders must uphold the commitment of Paris Deal

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MORE than half the world's nations failed to submit upgraded commitments by year's end to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, straggling behind the schedule of accelerated climate ambitions set out in the Paris Agreement. Almost every country on the planet signed up to the 2015 Paris deal, which calls for capping global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and 1.5C if possible. The first batch of so-called "nationally determined contributions" (NDCs) would -- if fulfilled -- still see Earth become 3C hotter, but nations pledged to intensify their emissions cuts, with revised plans due every five years.
As December 2020, deadline approached, several large emitters said they would achieve net-zero output this century, but many nations allowed the year-end to pass without publishing details of their renewed short-term targets. Most NDC pledges run to 2030, with a few -- including that of the United States -- ending in 2025. As of January 1, only around 70 out of nearly 200 nations had filed updated commitments with some countries blaming delays on the Covid-19 pandemic. The UN has estimated that emissions need to be cut by 7.6 per cent a year in the ten years to 2030 if there is to be a hope of limiting heating to 1.5C. Earth's surface has already warmed nearly 1.2C on average, intensifying extreme weather and making it more deadly.
Climate advocates are particularly eager to see the latest plans from the world's largest emitter China. President Xi Jinping last year outlined new ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But the country has yet to formally submit proposals. Another notable omission is the world's second-largest emitter, the United States, which was yanked out of the Paris Agreement by Donald Trump. Incoming President-elect Joe Biden has however pledged carbon neutrality by 2050 and a return to Paris commitments. The world needs more action to reduce carbon emission rather uttering promise without action. The global leaders, particularly the deadly emitters must ensure liveable earth for the next generations. As a third world country, why we bear the burn of developed nations?

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