According to scientific studies published this week, experts predict Earth temperatures will hit three degrees Celsius within the next 80 years. Should the planet hit that threshold, it would be double that of the preindustrial levels (1.5 degrees Celsius) that were set in 2015 under the Paris climate agreement.
“We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world,” the head of the U.N. climate office, Simon Stiell, said in a statement. “To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.”
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated Stiell’s projections in a video message on Thursday.
“Loss and damage from the climate emergency is getting worse by the day and global and national climate commitments are falling pitifully short,” Guterres explained. “Under current policies, the world is headed for 2.8 degrees of global heating by the end of the century. In other words, we are headed for a global catastrophe.”
Guterres continued, “Global and national climate commitments are falling pitifully short. We must close the emissions gap before climate catastrophe closes in on us all.”