The world needs to take immediate action towards a complete phase out of fossil fuels and force global greenhouse gas emissions onto a downward trajectory. This is the clear message from the United Nations Environment Programme in its latest Emissions Gap Report. Launched today in Washington DC, the report confirms there is no time to waste if the world is to stay under the agreed red line of 2DegC average warming. The good news is that more and more countries are already waking up to this – forced to face facts by the recent government-endorsed IPCC report confirming that carbon emissions will have to be brought to zero.

The US, China and the EU have all recently showed climate action leadership: the EU with its 2030 climate and energy package; the US with its pledge to double the pace at which it will reduce carbon pollution; and China with plans to slow, peak and then reverse the course of its carbon emissions. But today’s report shows that all countries need to take action, and that deeper and faster emissions cuts will reduce climate risks and the costs of action.

Now is the moment – in the run up to the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru – for coalobsessed blockers like Australia to show that they too wish to be on the right side of history.