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  • The Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background is seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica.

    The Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background is seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 November 2015

A new report states that the voluntary pledges of 146 nations to cut emissions are insufficient.

Nations around the world are doing “far from enough” to thwart global warming, the United Nations cautioned Friday, with just weeks to go before the crucial climate summit in Paris.

A U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) report stated that the voluntary pledges of 146 nations to cut emissions would only produce one-third of the reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030 needed to prevent the Earth from overheating, and that is only if the pledges are “respected.”

“The submitted contributions are far from enough, and the emissions gap in both 2025 and 2030 will be very significant,” the report said.

RELATED: Climate Action: Why Justice in Paris is Unlikely

But although U.N. scientists warned that the pledges were “not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to the recommended level of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century,” investigators conceded that nations’ efforts were far greater than in previous years, providing for an optimistic outlook for the Paris talks in December.

"The current  Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), combined with policies over the last few years, present a real increase in ambition levels and demonstrate an unprecedented commitment and engagement by member states in tackling this major global challenge," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

In concrete terms, the proposed INDCs would cut down on 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the 60 billion tons expected to be spewed if no targets were in place, leaving the total at 54 billion tons.

RELATED: COP 21: Latin America Preparing Shared Stance on Climate Change

But to prevent a rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius, total emissions in 2030 should not exceed 42 billion tons, according to the U.N.’s climate science panel.

The pledges from some countries, especially in South America, rely on financing from the Green Climate Fund, a kitty created to aid developing nations convert to green energy and prepare for the adverse effects of global warming, such as melting glaciers in Peru.

The U.N. Green Climate Fund said on Friday it had approved US$168 million of the first funds to be made available “for projects in Africa, Asia and South America to help poor nations adapt to climate impacts already visible or in the pipeline.”

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