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There's a Vast ‘Emissions Gap’ Between a Safe World and the One We're In, UN Says

On the eve of global talks in Glasgow, a new report outlines what countries need to do to drastically lower greenhouse gases

Emissions rise from an oil refinery in Texas.

Emissions rise from an oil refinery in Texas.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Nations can jump-start their woefully inadequate climate policies by moving quickly in three areas, according to an urgent UN science report: Link post-pandemic fiscal recovery to curbing emissions, slash methane pollution and build a global carbon market. 

Taking those actions would help close an enormous gap between the world's current trajectory and the necessary path to limit global warming, said the 12th UN Environment Program Emissions Gap report published Tuesday. Updates to national pledges made under the Paris Agreement — even if they are achieved — utterly fail to heed the timelines that scientists have identified for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.