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Emissions ‘pushing planet beyond 1.5C climate target’

THE world is ‘already well on the way’ to global temperature rises of 1.5C, experts have warned.

It comes as countries hope to finalise a major report on the action needed to limit global warming to that level.

It means the world will need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero — and the report is likely to say that carbon emissions must fall to zero by 2050.

Representatives of 195 governments and scientists are meeting in South Korea to agree a report on the impacts of a rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was asked to draw up a policy after the target was included in the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015 amid fears for the survival of some low-lying countries.

Countries were warned global temperatures have already climbed more than 1C above pre-industrial levels.

World Meteorological Organisation deputy secretary general Elena Manaenkova said: ‘Unfortunately we are already well on the way to the 1.5C limit and the sustained warming trend shows no sign of relenting. The past two decades included 18 of the warmest years since records began in 1850.’

Hundreds of experts have assessed all available research to reach the report’s conclusions. If approved, it will be published on Monday — but there are concerns that some governments could try to water down the study. Greenpeace international executive director Jennifer Morgan said: ‘This IPCC report is our moment of truth. Governments and industry have for too long wasted time on talk and finger-pointing.’