UN Tasks governments to Phase out Emissions by 2050

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The UN has requested Governments, cities and business leaders develop plans to radically cut emissions by 2050. The call to publish “low-emission development strategies” comes at the request of France climate envoy Laurence Tubiana and Morocco environment minister Hakima El Haite.

This is in view of last December’s Paris climate agreement where 195 countries agreed to target net zero emissions between 2050 and 2100. It called for warming emissions from coal, oil and gas to be eliminated, stored underground or soaked up by widespread tree-planting.

The UN’s 2016 “climate champions” penned that Voluntary mid-century strategy “will help countries, cities, regions, businesses’, investors… understand what it takes to achieve the long-term goals embedded in the Paris Agreement”

“At the national level, it will help to design and implement short-term actions aligned with the long-term objective, avoid lock-in and embark on a truly cost-effective emission reduction pathway.”

Most countries only have strategies to cut emissions up to 2025 or 2030, which are target years for the vast majority of national climate plans submitted to the UN.

On the other hand, although the US, China and France have already committed to working on 2050 plans through 2016, uptake on what was one of the signal agreements in the UN’s flagship climate deal has been slow.

“We will be calling for contributions from actors in all sectors to generate solutions that can help governments to implement what they have committed to and to extend them further,” add Tubiana and Haite.

The strategy document underscores worries that the global momentum to tackle climate change has taken a back seat since the Paris climate agreement.
Negotiations are now focused on developing a set of rules for the deal, which could come into force as early as 2017 if it gets formal approval from 55 countries covering 55% of emissions.

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