Even if governments meet their commitments from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, and most are not close to meeting even those minimums.
As the world heats up, ocean water is expanding while land-based glaciers and the two great polar ice caps are melting away, causing the oceans to swell.
According to the UN’s climate science panel, the global sea level rise could reach as much as 1.1 metres by the end of the century if emissions aren’t curbed. Clark pointed out the real situation could be even worse if the melting of the Antarctic turns out to be on the dire end of the spectrum of uncertainty.
“People are going to become less inclined to live by the coast and there are going to be sea level rise refugees,” Clark said. “More severe cuts in emissions are certainly going to be required but the current Paris pledges aren’t enough to prevent the seas from rising for a long, long time.”