The UN has grossly exaggerated the benefits of a proposed deal on climate change, which will reduce global warming by as little 0.05C, according to a study.
The deal, due to be signed by almost 200 countries in Paris next month, will cost the EU hundreds of billions of pounds a year to implement but will have a negligible impact on rising temperatures, said Bjorn Lomborg, an economist and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist.
His study was published as the Met Office revealed that the global average temperature would rise 1C above pre-industrial levels for the first time this year. Temperatures around the world averaged 1.02C above the 1850-1900 period between January and September. The ongoing “El Niño” climate phenomenon in the Pacific is expected to maintain the increase and make this year the warmest on record.
Dr Lomborg accused Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), of making a “phenomenally misleading” claim that the Paris deal could reduce the increase in average temperature to 2.7C, close to the agreed target of 2C.
Ms Figueres made the claim this month when welcoming commitments to cut emissions made by 150 countries. She said those commitments had “the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the [commitments]”.
Dr Lomborg’s paper, published in the Global Policy journal, found that if all nations fulfilled their commitments by 2030 but then stopped cutting emissions, the projected rise in temperature would be reduced by only 0.048C.
If those nations maintained their climate policies for the next 70 years to 2100, the temperature increase would be reduced by 0.17C.