We’re still not serious about fighting global warming.
As the Glasgow global climate conference whimpers to a close on November 12–another year of delay and inadequate action, but, hey, we’ve got plenty of time right (maybe even 8 or 9 years)–two reports say that things are even worse than they seem.
Report #1 from the United Nations itself shows a huge gap between long-term pledges to reduce carbon and actual short-term actions. Meeting far off net-zero pledges would give the world a 50/50 chance of limiting warming to the 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) level that will limit damage to tolerable levels. But what countries are actually planning to do between now and 2030 would lead to warming of 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit), a level that would produce widespread climate disaster.
Report #2 from the Washington Post shows that much of the data about plans to limit carbon emissions is either intentionally or unintentionally false. For example, Malaysia’s plans for reducing its carbon emissions assume that Malaysian forest absorbs carbon at a rate 4 times higher than in neighboring Indonesia.
The Post study of carbon reports from 196 countries shows that the gap between what nations declare their emissions to be vs. the greenhouse gases they are sending into the atmosphere ranges from at least 8.5 billion tons of unreported emissions a year to as high as 13.3 billion tons a year of underreported emissions. At the low end, the gap is larger than the yearly emissions of the U.S. economy. At the high end, it approaches the total emissions of China and is equal to 23% of humanity’s total contribution to the planet’s warming.
Let’s see: On the one hand, countries are making empty pledges to reduce carbon emissions; on the other hand, they’re lying about the data.
Not surprising, I guess. More than 100 fossil fuel companies sent 500 lobbyists to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, more than any single country at the meeting, according to the environmental campaign group Global Witness.
Which leads me to believe that most portfolios, mine included, don’t yet take climate change seriously enough either. Time for a new Special Report on global warming stocks. Look for it in early December.