COP26 pledges could limit warming to 1.8C, says energy agency boss
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, says a ‘big step forward’ is possible only if all commitments are implemented in full.
The climate pledges agreed so far at the Cop26 conference could keep the world’s rising temperatures to within 1.8C of pre-industrialised levels, according to the International Energy Agency – but only if the commitments are implemented in full.
Birol told delegates at the conference that despite the pessimism ahead of the COP26 talks, a “big step forward” was possible if all the pledges set out to date were “fully achieved”.
The highly influential energy watchdog analysed a string of commitments by global governments to cut emissions to “net zero”, combined with a major pledge to limit global methane emissions, and found that fully achieving the goals would slash global heating predictions from a rise of 2.7C set out before UN climate talks.
However, the promise of climate progress at the COP26 talks risks being dashed amid rising criticism over a set of key of climate pledges, spearheaded by the UK government, to reduce global emissions by phasing out coal power generation.
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