We have wasted so much time. Despite decades of urgent warnings from scientists about a looming climate crisis, global carbon emissions have continued to climb year after year, amplifying and compounding the challenge the world faces to avert catastrophe. A new UN report reveals that global temperatures are now on track to rise by 3.9 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. To avert climate chaos, the report suggests, global emissions need to fall by 7.6 percent each year beginning in 2020. That is to say, by next year, carbon pollution needs to start falling five times faster than it has been rising. Possible? Yes. But about as likely as reversing gravity.

Why have we waited so long to deal

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