The world may not meet its climate change goals, a new UN report says

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Most of the world's carbon emissions, which contribute to increase in global temperatures, come from G20 countries, a new United Nations report shows.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 28) — Nations around the world are falling short of their commitment to lower their emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to limit the Earth's temperature increase under 2 degrees Celsius.

The 2018 United Nations (UN) Emissions Gap Report said all the countries which signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, like the Philippines, currently have emission targets that would result to global warming of up to 3.2°C degrees by 2100.

These data align with the September 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which says that global temperature increase of just 1.5°C can bring about heavier and more intense rainfall in the form of stronger storms, a higher incidence of droughts, and a rise in sea levels.

CO2 emissions for the year 2017 have increased to 53.5 billion tons, following relatively stable levels from 2014 to 2016 which led to some assumptions it may already be peaking.

The 0.7 billion ton increase was linked to the countries' higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth and slower declines in energy use.

The report added that in order to meet the 2°C goal, the global emissions of greenhouse gases -- which contribute to global warming -- must be 25 percent lower than present levels. If the world is aiming for only a 1.5°C increase, nations must limit their emissions to 55 percent of the present.

Most of the emissions come from the member-states of the international organization Group of 20 (G20), which include global economies such as China, Russia, the European Union, Japan, and the United States. The report explains the G20 countries are not on track in meeting their climate change goals.

However, global emissions have shown no signs of peaking, in line with the 2020 goals of the Paris Agreement. The report also said that by 2030, only 57 countries -- representing 60 percent of emissions -- will have peaked.

"Countries  need  to  strengthen  the  ambition  of  NDCs (nationally determined contributions)  and  scale  up  and  increase  effectiveness  of  domestic  policy  to  achieve  the  temperature  goals  of  the  Paris  Agreement.  To  bridge  the  2030  emissions  gap  and  ensure  long term  decarbonization  consistent  with  the  Paris  Agreement  goals,  countries  must  enhance  their  mitigation  ambition," the report said.

The report puts importance on non-state actors, such as local government units and the private sector, to curb emissions.

The UN report added that creating incentives for low-carbon investments and reducing GHG emissions should be put in fiscal policy, as well as higher taxes for fossil fuels.

World leaders and climate experts are set to meet next week in Katowice, Poland for the  24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to keep the goal of a global 2°C temperature increase in check.