Global warming continues, China to join UN climate treaty

UN seeks to seal climate deal by December while new research shows no halt to global warming

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Nations said on Thursday that China is expected this month to join a global climate treaty which countries want to finalise by the end of this year.

Speaking to the Associated Press (AP), UN assistant secretary general Janos Pasztor said that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter to Ban Ki-Moon last week about the issue, but has declined to give further details.

As the world’s greatest emitter of carbon-dioxide, China’s pledge to join the global climate treaty is highly important. The world’s largest nation uses approximately half of global coal production for heating, electricity and industry.

Xi last year promised to cut carbon dioxide emission by 2030 and clean China’s air pollution. He also vowed to double green energy production by the same year.

In March the US made a pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Canada promised a 30 percent reduction while the EU has a target of 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“What has been agreed by the parties is that there will be no backsliding," Pasztor said. "Whatever countries put on the table, they should not be going backwards.”

Pasztor added that there are still 154 countries that haven’t made pledges.

While UN negotiations this week in Bonn, Germany, will show how countries are close to a consensus, global warming shows no signs of stopping, recent research shows.

Scientists at the US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed that since 1988 the rate of global warming - 0.06 degrees Celsius per decade – is about the same as it was in 1950.

“We found that the rate of warming over the past 15 years was no different than the rate of warming in the second half of the 20th century,” said Thomas Karl, director of the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and lead author of the study.

Global warming doubters jave claimed that the world is in the midst of a hiatus starting with 1988 when surface temperatures spiked followed by cooler years. However in there 2005, 2010 and 2014 were even hotter than 1988 and this year is expected to be even hotter than the last.

“The reality is that there is no hiatus,” said Karl.

TRTWorld and agencies