UN Report Finds Global Climate Plans Insufficient to Hit 1.5 Degree Goal
Current climate plans from the 193 signatory nations to the Paris Agreement are insufficient to achieve the goal to limit warming to 1.5°C, according to a new report from United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change.
The report, “Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement,” examined the interim climate commitments made by 166 parties to the agreement, and indicated that the current combined national pledges would put the world on track for around 2.5°Cof warming by the end of the century, well above levels needed to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.
The release of the report comes in the lead-up to the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18. One of the key highlights of last year’s COP26 conference’s final agreement, the Glasgow Climate Pact, was a call on countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions targets, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The UNFCCC report, however, revealed that very few countries have met their pledges to update their NDCs.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said:
“The fact that only 24 new or updated climate plans were submitted since COP 26 is disappointing. Government decisions and actions must reflect the level of urgency, the gravity of the threats we are facing, and the shortness of the time we have remaining to avoid the devastating consequences of runaway climate change.”
The report did find some signs of progress, however, in countries’ climate plans. While current commitments were assessed to lead to emissions increases of 10.6% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels, this marked a significant improvement over last year’s assessment of a 13.7% increase. Moreover, the report projected emissions no longer increasing after 2030 based on current pledges, while last year’s assessment indicated that increases would continue beyond 2030.
“The downward trend in emissions expected by 2030 shows that nations have made some progress this year. But the science is clear and so are our climate goals under the Paris Agreement. We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world.”
Calling the findings “alarming,” Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President-Designate called for a “transformative response at COP27.”
“Raising ambition and urgent implementation is indispensable for addressing the climate crisis. This includes cutting and removing emissions faster and at wider scope of economic sectors, to protect us from more severe adverse climate impacts and devastating loss and damage.”
Click here to access the UNFCCC report.