No, pledges made at COP26 are not likely to keep global warming below 1.5 C

A United Nations’ goal is to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. But researchers say more needs to be done.

COP26, also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, recently wrapped up in Glasgow, Scotland. More than 100 world leaders attended the conference to address the biggest challenges related to the effects humans are having on warming the climate.

The VERIFY team looked into what impact the agreements made at COP26 could have on the Earth’s warming climate. You can watch the full video on our YouTube page or on our Snapchat channel.

THE QUESTION

Are the COP26 agreements likely to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, it’s not likely the COP26 agreements are going to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

WHAT WE FOUND

The U.N. has identified a key temperature increase in the fight against global warming: 1.5 degrees Celsius. Essentially, if the Earth’s temperature gets any warmer than that compared to pre-industrial levels, the world is in for more extreme weather events.

While making closing remarks at COP26, Patricia Espinosa, the climate secretary of the U.N., acknowledged that negotiations fell short of achieving a path to the sub-1.5 C of warming.

“Despite your accomplishments, we are still far off the trajectory of stabilizing global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees,” she said.

Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific collaboration that models global warming, pegged the pledges made by nations at COP26 would put Earth on a trajectory to warm 2.4 C higher than pre-industrial levels. Under policies currently enacted, Climate Action Tracker estimates warming of 2.7 C. The International Energy Agency projects that pledges made at COP26 would lead to warming of 1.8 C above pre-industrial levels, down from the 2.1 C projection the organization made prior to the summit.

Both projections are higher than the 1.5 C threshold the U.N. is targeting. That’s one reason the summit ended with calls for nations to come back next year with more ambitious climate goals.

More from VERIFY

VERIFY published several stories over the past few weeks related to COP26, including the factors contributing to global warming and how climate change could impact different aspects of the future. You can read those stories at the links below.

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