Technology & Science

Greenhouse gas emissions 'show no sign of peaking'

The United Nations environment office is warning that the gap is widening between current greenhouse gas emissions and the levels needed to stop catastrophic global warming.

Gap widens between current emissions and levels needed to stop catastrophic warming, UN report says

Smoke and steam rise from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant near Ordos in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 2015. A new UN report says global emissions of heat-trapping gas such as carbon dioxide 'show no signs of peaking.' (Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press)

The United Nations environment office is warning that the gap is widening between current greenhouse gas emissions and the levels needed to stop catastrophic global warming.

In a report released Tuesday in Paris, the agency said global emissions of heat-trapping gas such as carbon dioxide "show no signs of peaking." It said in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) this century, emissions need to drop 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 2017 levels.

The report urges countries to put forward more ambitious national targets for cutting greenhouse gases. It suggests carbon pricing to deter heavy polluters. It also suggests backing innovation and helping low-income households to boost emissions reductions and ensure they're socially acceptable.

The report was released ahead of global climate talks starting in Katowice, Poland, on Dec. 2.