UN report suggests that world’s pledges for reducing carbon emissions aren’t enough

The coming month will see the city of Paris hosting the climate meeting to find out ways for staving off the disastrous climate change. As a result, nations across the globe, right now, are pledging to reduce their respective carbon emissions. However, a report released by the United Nations is suggesting that even if all those promises are kept, we might not see the situation changing for better.

The said report was released on Friday by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Program). It happens to be UNEP’s 6th annual “Emissions Gap” report and includes analysis of the pledges submitted by almost 150 countries. Together, those countries contributed over 85% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions during the year 2012. The UN report pointed out that pledges from all those nations will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that reduction will only be half of what is required for stabilizing the global temperatures.

Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the Penn State University, said that this report suggests that although we will need to put in much more effort for managing climate change, it cannot be denied that we have made some really big progress.

The climate meeting will be held in Paris between November 30 and December 11. The attendees there will be shaping a universal climate pact; we haven’t seen anything like this happening before. The basis of the pact will be the emission cut pledges by different countries. The official term used for these pledges is “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”.


The United States, a nation known for contributing significantly to global warming, has promised that it will be reducing its carbon emissions by a little over 25% by 2015. Another global superpower China, on the other hand, has promised to lower its carbon emissions for every unit of GDP by 60-65%.

The list of countries making promises also includes comparatively poorer countries. For instance, Maldives has promised to reduce its emissions by 10% and said that it will be aiming a reduction of 24% if international resources are made available. Here, it must be mentioned that Maldives emits only 0.003% of the planet’s greenhouse gases. Still, it has made such big promises as the island chain is threatened significantly by growing sea levels.