Scientists believe we need tighter climate targets

THE pledges made by countries in the historic Paris agreement on climate change would lead to "completely catastrophic" global warming, scientists have warned.

In a major analysis of 10 studies into the effect of what world leaders promised to do, researchers calculated the planet was still on course for a temperature increase of 2.6-3.1 degrees by the end of this century.

Their finding was in sharp contrast to last year's declaration in Paris that action would be taken to keep the rise to "well below" 2 degrees and try to restrict it to 1.5 degrees.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers said the world was facing an "important challenge".

"Further, greater reductions in the coming decade and preparing for a global transformation of development pathways is critical," they wrote.

Professor Niklas Hohne, of Cologne's New Climate Institute, told The Independent: "Three degrees ... would be what I describe as completely catastrophic and this is definitely what we need to avoid.

"Even two degrees is not a very pleasant situation, with significantly more droughts and floods and weather events.

"There's also the risk of tipping points and irreversible change. We are going a step in the right direction, but we are definitely far away from where we should be."

- THE INDEPENDENT


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