The United Nations’ annual Conference of Parties 27th version will begin on Monday in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt as countries look to pledge new deals focused on cutting carbon emissions. 

The threat of climate change looms larger than before as countries race to prevent the global temperature from heating up by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The margin for error is somewhere between 0.9 and 1.3 degrees past 1.5, according to the Emissions Gap 2022 Report released by the UN

But even then, the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius is shocking. At 1.5 degrees, roughly 70% of all coral reefs will be lost but at 2 degrees, they’ll be gone for good. Similarly, at 1.5 degrees, 1 in every 100 Arctic summers will be ice-free, at 2 degrees it’ll mean 1 in 10. 

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Even though countries have pledged to cut emissions, very few seem to have actively been working towards it. In fact, those that have managed to make cuts only represent about 0.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the 13 that need to be slashed by 2030 to meet the goals set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

The bottom line is that the world needs to minimize overshooting climate goals as much as possible. Even though countries like Australia, which has pledged to cut carbon emissions 43% since 2005 levels by 2030, or Chile which is working to enshrine nature in the constitution are working towards the goal, its unlikely to be enough. 

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Developing countries are looking for ways to make the transition to clean energy faster, but for that they need help from wealthier nations. However, bringing wealthier nations to the table would be an admission of liability on their part, which could invite lawsuits in the future. The Group of 7, led by Germany has suggested a plan help pay the premiums for insurance coverage for vulnerable nations while other nations have suggested the creation of a UN fund to help countries dealing with climate change.