Professor Jim Skea, a Scottish climate expert and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, asks that leaders attending the upcoming COP26 summit “step up to the plate” whilst making it clear that the world is on a time limit. Skea believes that COP26 is about achieving goals originally set in Paris and “getting countries to deliver on the promises,” rather than producing new agreements. He also believes that current pledges don’t align with the goal of reducing global heating below 2oC and are far from aligning with the ambitious 1.5oC that many are hopeful to reach.
“If we continue emitting as we are at the moment, the Paris goals will go beyond reach, that’s undoubted” Professor Skea said. He wants carbon emissions to be cut back soon, burning fewer fossil fuels and more efficient use of energy. Skea also acknowledges that, despite countries having differing views regarding nuclear power, the use of nuclear energy instead of coal will aid with reducing emissions.
Looking at the 1.5oC goal, he points out that this would require no future development of oil fields worldwide. The UK government says there’s still a demand for gas and oil and whilst trying to transition to renewable sources, it can only do so “as fast as we reasonably can.”
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