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Targets for limiting global warming further out of reach: UN

Published on Nov 21, 2012 6:19 PM

PARIS (AFP) - The gap has widened between countries' pledges for reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and what is needed to keep planet warming in check, the United Nations warned on Wednesday.

Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by 3 to 5 deg C this century - way above the 2 deg C being targeted, said a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

Urgent and decisive action could still see the world get back on track, but this would mean cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 14 per cent to about 44 billion tonnes in 2020 from an estimated 50.1 billion tonnes per year now.

"If no swift action is taken by nations, emissions are likely to be at 58 gigatonnes (billion tonnes) in eight years' time," said a statement on the report compiled by 55 scientists from more than 20 countries.

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