Scientists have warned that a major group of major G-20 nations are committed to climate goals that would lead to catastrophic global warming. They say China, Russia, Brazil and Australia have energy policies tied to a 5°C rise in atmospheric temperatures, a warming that would wreak havoc on most of the planet.
The analysis, by peer-reviewed group Paris Equity Check, raises serious concerns about the prospects for key climate agreements reached at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow within three months. The conference – ranked as one of the most important climate summits ever organized – will attempt to craft policies to keep global heating at 1.5°C by agreeing on a global policy to end net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The European Union and the United Kingdom have identified emissions pledges that can bring the world closer to these aspirations. However, those in China, Russia, Brazil and Australia – which are still dependent on continued burning of fossil fuels – would lead to a warming of 5°C if the rest of the world followed suit. This dramatic contrast reveals a deep division over the energy and environmental policies of the world’s richest nations. “Without more ambition from China, Brazil, Russia and Australia, Cop26 will fail to meet our planet’s future needs,” warned Tanya Steele, CEO of the WWF.