COP26: Why countries are aiming to keep temperature rises at no more than 1.5 °C
Updated: 2021-11-02 08:02:38 KST
Compared to the pre-industrial period around the 19th century the average global temperature has risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius.
With carbon emissions largely blamed for climate change, the UN adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The essential goal of which,… was to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees,.. while aspiring for 1.5 degrees.
But now, that 1.5 degrees target. has become the new commitment.
Scientists are focusing on that half degree because its impact can be significant.
According to a report by the UN, a 1.five degree increase. will cause sea levels to rise by up to 77 centimeters by 2100.
That's enough to see Maldives submerged.
But 2 degrees would bring up sea levels by another 10 centimeters,… also putting low-lying coastal areas and deltas at risk.
Also, the number of plants and insects that are losing their natural habitats will double or triple.
And all coral reefs could disappear.
. That will inevitably affect fisheries.
.Causing a decrease in the global annual catch of 3 million tons, compared to just half of that. at 1.5 degrees.
Also, malaria and dengue fever will expand their geographic range.
And infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans will increase,… as more wildlife - deprived of habitat will come into contact with humans.
The economy will also suffer seeing median GDP per capita. fall by 13 percent.
The UN says, the coming years will be crucial to keep the hope of 1.5 degrees alive with carbon emissions needing to be cut in half by 2030, and net zero reached by 2050.
So, perhaps more important than the Paris accord, is this year's COP 26 climate summit.
"In order for us to achieve 1.5 degrees is to phase out coal. The plan around COP 26 is actually on the slogan, the phrase "consigning coal to history". That's quite a striking moment, and that hasn't happened before in any of the COPs."
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.