The United Nations has released a new report warning that the world is on track for nearly 3 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. This increase in temperature is expected even if countries fully implement their action plans to reduce emissions. The report, titled “Broken Record,” states that countries need to cut emissions by 28% to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and by 42% to meet the more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
According to the report, global emissions rose by 1.2% in 2021-2022. It also highlights that fully implementing the efforts outlined in the nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) would put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 degrees Celsius. However, if conditional NDCs are fully implemented, temperatures would not exceed 2.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius, is referenced in the report. While progress has been made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since the agreement was signed, the world is still far from achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal, according to the UN.
The report also highlights the alarming number of days with temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius recorded this year. In September, the hottest month ever recorded, global average temperatures were 1.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, a transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy is crucial, according to Antònio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN.
The report calls for all countries to prioritize low-carbon development transformations, particularly in the energy sector. It also warns that the extraction of coal, oil, and gas, along with planned mines and fields, would emit more than three-and-a-half times the carbon budget available to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Developed countries have already consumed more than 80% of the global carbon budget, leaving less room for countries like India to emit greenhouse gases in the future. The report emphasizes the need for high-income and high-emitting countries to take more ambitious action and provide financial and technical support to developing nations.
Harjeet Singh, the head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, warns that the world is on thin ice. The projected emissions from fossil fuel extraction are set to exceed the carbon budget needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by more than three-and-a-half times, he says.
Overall, the report highlights the urgent need for global action to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without significant efforts to curb emissions, the world is on a dangerous trajectory towards a much warmer future.