A statement launched on the eve of the G20 Summit in Hamburg warned that greenhouse gas emissions must show a significant decline by 2020 to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
A group of scientists, policymakers, and corporate leaders have released a statement warning that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 2020 to effectively tackle climate change.
With this aim, they launched Mission 2020 on the eve of the G20 summit that took place in Hamburg last week. The ultimate goal of the collaborative campaign is to raise awareness and address the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the next three years.
The group is led by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres who oversaw negotiations on the Paris climate agreement.
The key message of the report is a warning that if greenhouse gas emissions do not show a significant decline by 2020, it will be difficult to limit the effects of climate change within safe limits and meet the temperature goals set in the 2016 Paris Agreement, i.e. to limit a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2030.
In order to achieve this goal, the report has outlined six key milestones to be achieved in the next three years:
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The report optimistically notes that progress has been made: for the past three years, worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have stagnated and are expected to level off. This is attributed to China’s economic transformation and growth in the use of renewable energy worldwide.
However, world temperatures have peaked for the past two years. 2016 was the hottest year on record: a record temperature 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period was recorded last year, representing an increase of 0.06 °C above the previous record set in 2015.
This trend reveals that much progress still needs to be achieved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next three years for the Paris goals to be eventually reached.