Greenhouse gas pollution hit a new high in 2019, putting the world on a course to hit a cataclysmic 5.6°F (3°C) of average global warming by the end of this century, according to the UN Environment Program. The annual “emissions gap” report, detailing the gap between actual greenhouse gas pollution, and the emissions levels required to manage climate change and limit global warming to “well below” 3.6° F (2°C) below pre-industrial levels as outlined in the Paris Agreement. In order to accomplish the necessary cuts, wealthy nations need to dramatically slash their greenhouse gas pollution.
The world’s wealthiest 1% — anyone making more than $109,000 per year — caused more than double the global warming pollution of the poorest half of the entire world’s population. At 2°C of warming, among other impacts, sea level rise threatens the very existence of many small island nations, while the increased frequency and intensity of summer temperatures will make spending sustained amounts of time outdoors lethal across the tropics and sub-tropics, decimating agricultural output from Florida to Brazil. (Reuters, TIME, New York Times $, The Hill, Washington Post $, Axios, E&E $, Yahoo)