According to a report released on Monday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world will need to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by an “unprecedented” amount within the next ten years in order to limit the warming of the planet to the 2015 Paris climate agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to this document, the world’s annual carbon dioxide emissions – currently over 40 billion tons per year and still rising – will need to “be on an extremely steep downward path” by 2030 in order to hold global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would amount to more than 1 billion tons per year. By 2050, the report calls for a total or near-total phaseout of coal.

“It’s like a deafening, piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen. We have to put out the fire,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program. He added that the need to either stop emissions entirely by 2050 or find some way to remove as much carbon dioxide from the air as humans put there “means net zero must be the new global mantra.”

Current promises made by countries as part of the Paris climate agreement would lead to about 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming by the end of the century, and the Trump administration recently released an analysis assuming about 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 if the world takes no action.

Read More