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Climate change: Carbon emission promises ‘put Earth on red alert’

Climate change: Carbon emission promises 'put Earth on red alert'

The world will heat by more than 1.5C unless nations produce tougher policies, a global stocktake has confirmed.

Governments must halve emissions by 2030 if they intend the Earth to stay within the 1.5C “safe” threshold.

But the latest set of national policies submitted to the UN shows emissions will merely be stabilised by 2030.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called it a red alert for our planet.

He said: "It shows governments are nowhere close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris (Climate) Agreement.

"The major emitters must step up with much more ambitious emissions reductions targets."

Dr Niklas Hohne from the New Climate Institute told BBC News: "There is a huge gap to fill if we are serious about 1.5C (the threshold nations have agreed not to pass).

"Global emissions have to be halved – but with current proposals they will only be stable. That’s really not good enough."

Some nations have not even submitted a climate plan, and some – such as Australia – are judged to have offered no substantial improvement on previous proposals.

Emissions from those countries doing little or nothing extra comprise 10-15% of global emissions. Mexico and Brazil have attracted criticism for not doing more.

There are some positive signs, though. The EU, for instance, made the biggest jump from a target of a 40% cut to a 55% cut, based on 1990 levels.