Earth could warm 3 degrees if nations keep building coal plants, new research warns

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Earth is on track to significantly overshoot a critical global climate target, largely because not enough coal-fired power plants are being retired, researchers warned in two new reports. Some nations are even planning new coal projects despite promising two years ago to begin reducing their use of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.

In 2021, nearly 200 nations agreed for the first time to phase down “unabated” coal-fired power plants as part of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit average global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a more ambitious goal of staying below 1.5 degrees.

But a new peer-reviewed study, published by two Swedish universities in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that current commitments by nations to wind down the use of coal-fired power aren’t enough to meet either of the Paris Agreement’s key targets. It says that the planet will likely warm upwards of 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless far more plants shut down over the next five years. 

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