The United Nations has issued a warning that despite efforts to reduce emissions, the world is still far from being able to stop the effects of climate change, with Earth expected to warm by 2.9C (5. 2F) this century.
The annual Emissions Gap report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which was released on Monday, evaluates nations’ pledges to combat climate change in comparison to the necessary action.
The hottest year in human history is anticipated for this one.
The number, speed, and scope of broken climate records are all disturbingly increasing, according to UNEP.
According to the report, if governments do not take more aggressive climate action, the world will experience warming above preindustrial levels between 2.5C (4. 5F) and 2.9C (5. 2F).
Scientists predict that at that rate of warming, the world could experience a number of catastrophic events without repercussions, such as the runaway melting of ice sheets and the drying out of the Amazon rainforest, rendering vast areas essentially uninhabitable for people.
At the COP28 climate talks, which start on November 30 in Dubai, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded “dramatic climate action.”
He compared a canyon to the emissions gap.
“Leaders cannot continue to kick the can.” We’ve crossed the road,” he declared, denouncing “a massive missed opportunity, a leadership failure, and betrayal of the weak.”
According to Guterres, the world needs to “reverse course” and stop contaminating coal, oil, and gas.
It’s time to “step up.”
Countries agreed to cap global warming at “well below” 2C (3. 6F) above preindustrial times as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, with a safer upper limit of 1.5C (2. 7F).
Nearly 1.2C (2. 2F) of global warming has already sparked a wave of deadly dangers that are spreading across the planet, ranging from deadly heatwaves to intensifying hurricanes.
Although the Paris warming thresholds will be tracked as an average over a number of decades, UNEP reported that temperatures have already risen above 1.5C (2. 7F) for more than 80 days this year.
According to the report, in order to maintain warming at 1.5C (2. 7F), greenhouse gas emissions must decrease by 42% by 2030.
The likelihood of now limiting warming to 1.5C (2. 7F) was only 14%, it continued, even in the most optimistic emissions scenario.
According to the report, greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 1.2 percent between 2021 and 2022, reaching a record 57.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. It noted that the burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes were a major factor in the increase.
Inger Andersen, the head of UNEP, argued that while some G20 countries were in “snooze mode,” it was crucial that the world’s wealthiest economies, which collectively account for about 80% of emissions, “step up” and lead on reductions.