UN chief: 'leadership gap' on climate change

Governments will be in the spotlight at the COP26 conference next week to meet a deadline of this year to commit to more ambitious cut pledges, in what could be the last chance to put the world on track to limiting warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and ideally to 1.5C.

The U.N. World Meteorological Organization said ahead of the two-week event which begins in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday (October 31) that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is "way off track" in capping rising temperatures.

The annual "emissions gap" report by the United Nations' Environment Programme (UNEP), said updated pledges only reduce forecast 2030 emissions by an additional 7.5%, compared to the previous commitments.

Latest U.N. data shows 143 countries, accounting for around 57% of global emissions, have submitted new or updated emissions cut plans ahead of COP26 and their total emissions are estimated to be around 9% of 2010 levels by 2030 if implemented fully.

But if all pledges by 192 countries under the Paris Agreement are taken together, an increase of around 16% in global emissions is expected by 2030 compared to 2010, which would lead to warming of around 2.7C.

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