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Major Boost Required to Meet with Climate Targets

Countries around the world won’t be able to meet with their climate targets as set out through the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted in preparation for the 2015 climate talks in Paris, a new study has shown.

Researchers have revealed that current efforts are not enough to keep the warming below 2C off pre-industrial levels and chances are that there will a median rise of between 2.6 and 3.1C by 2100. The predictions have been put forward by researchers at University of Melbourne and international colleagues published in journal Nature.

Scientists involved with the study wherein there comprehensively analyzed the INDCs said that while the latest effort deserve appreciation as they are an improvement from current policy and no-policy scenarios, it still falls short of the 2C target, not to mention the hopeful goal of 1.5C warming.

“The international community achieved unparalleled success with the Paris Agreement – charting out the common path towards a zero carbon economy in the second half of the century,” study co-author Associate Professor Malte Meinshausen, the Director of the Australian-German Climate and Energy College within the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne, said. “But national policies now have to follow the international momentum.”

The INDCs are not finite and can be amended until the point when the Paris agreement is ratified and then every five years as part of the agreement’s ‘ratcheting-up’ mechanism.

Despite the current INDCs being insufficient, the study also indicates that the 2°C target is still achievable.

To get the world onto an economically efficient 2°C pathway, the study points to additional initiatives in the solar energy, wind energy, forestry and methane sectors, targets for the international aviation and maritime transport sectors and development of sustainable biomass in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Helping countries implement bold conditional targets would also assist.

David Lintott is a freelance journalist, covering culture, sport and society. He hails from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, which he considers the source of his world-weariness.

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