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Energy & Science

There’s Too Much Carbon Going Into the Air to Hit Climate Goals

  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide to rise this year, Met Office says
  • World needs to cut emissions fast to hit Paris Agreement goal
Vapour rises from a chimney at the Eskom coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The pace of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere needs to slow by about 20% over the next five years in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels, according to the latest analysis from the U.K.’s Met Office.

The department’s annual CO2 forecast is a reminder that current efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions are insufficient, meaning the world needs to act even more aggressively in future years to have any chance of reaching global climate targets.