Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Global emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are rising so quickly the world will have to make drastic reductions for the next several years just to meet levels established by the Paris climate agreement, a United Nations environmental report said Tuesday.
The body's Environment Program, which coordinates and manages environmental issues among U.N. agencies, said the world's nations must cut emissions 7.6 percent annually until 2030 to reach the Paris levels.
UNEP's annual Emissions Gap Report warned that unless global emissions were reduced by that amount, the ability to reach the "safe" 1.5 degree Centigrade global warming goal of the Paris Agreement will not be met.
The report found that even if all the current unconditional commitments made under the agreement are fully implemented, temperatures were still on a pace to rise by 3.2 degrees -- a level they say would trigger wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts.
"For ten years, the Emissions Gap Report has been sounding the alarm -- and for ten years, the world has only increased its emissions," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in an accompanying statement. "There has never been a more important time to listen to the science. Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms and pollution."
The Emissions Gap Report followed an analysis Monday by the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, which said in its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin greenhouse gases levels in the Earth's atmosphere again reached record levels in 2018.
A climate change conference that will discuss how to step up climate efforts is set for Scotland at the end of 2020, but UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said that may be too long to wait.
"This shows that countries simply cannot wait until the end of 2020, when new climate commitments are due, to step up action," she said. "They -- and every city, region, business and individual -- need to act now."
President Donald Trump filed to withdraw from the Paris Agreement two years ago, saying it would hinder the U.S. economy and put the United States at a "permanent disadvantage." Language in the pact doesn't allow the United States to withdraw, however, until at least November 2020.