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Planet’s Breakneck Warming Likely to Pass 1.5°C, UN Scientists Warn

Current climate policies won’t be enough to keep alive the initial goal of the Paris Agreement, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Residents gather to watch over the wildfire and support firefighters outside the village of Kamatriades, on Evia island, Greece, Aug. 9, 2021. 

Residents gather to watch over the wildfire and support firefighters outside the village of Kamatriades, on Evia island, Greece, Aug. 9, 2021. 

Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg

The international goal to limit global heating to 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) is officially on life support. A United Nations-backed panel of climate scientists warned in a new report released Monday that the world may be on track to warm by more than 3°C — twice the Paris Agreement target —in a change that would painfully remake societies and life on the planet. 

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes after years of net-zero pledges by national governments, cities, businesses and investors, and it sounds a stark warning on the still-unchecked emissions of greenhouse gas emissions pushing to record levels. The focus of this report, the third released since August 2021, is on humanity’s vast arsenal of technology, know-how and wealth that remain insufficiently deployed in efforts to ensure a livable climate in the future.