UN report urges cuts in gas emissions immediately

The U.N. Environment Program published a report Nov. 26 that says the amount of planet-heating gases released into the atmosphere hit a new high last year.

The world’s nations must make steep cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions immediately or risk missing the targets they’ve agreed on for limiting global warming, senior United Nations officials said in a report released Tuesday.

“Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions,” Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), said in a statement that accompanied the report. “We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated.”

Tuesday’s report concerns what scientists and policymakers call the “emissions gap,” the difference between the amount of carbon dioxide emitted now and the drastically lower levels needed to slow or stop global warming.

The report says global emissions continue to rise and will need to be cut at a rate of 7.6% each year for the next decade to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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