Monday, 11 September 2023 06:54

Window to reach climate goals ‘rapidly closing’, UN report warns

© Unsplash/Viktor Lysenko
Fossil fuels are the largest contributor to global climate change.


The world is not on track to meet the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement for limiting global temperature rise, a major UN report warned on Friday, calling for a commitment to decisive action.



Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which issued the report, called for “greater ambition and accelerating action”.

“I urge governments to carefully study the findings of the report and ultimately understand what it means for them and the ambitious action they must take next. It is the same for businesses, communities and other key stakeholders.”

Technical dialogue

The report summarizes 17 key findings from technical deliberations in 2022 and 2023 on the implementation status of the Paris Agreement on climate change and its long-term goals, based on the best scientific information.

The Agreement committed all countries to limit temperature rises as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

It found that in all areas, ranging from mitigating climate change impacts to addressing loss and damage, “much more needs to be done”.

“While there are well-known gaps, the technical findings highlighted existing and emerging opportunities and creative solutions to bridge these gaps,” UNFCCC said.

Good practices and proposals to accelerate implementation, action and support, are highlighted in all areas.

UNFCCC

Crucial moment

The report comes ahead of the “global stocktake” at the upcoming UN climate change conference COP28, which will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November-December.

At the stocktake delegates will assess if they are collectively making progress towards meeting the climate goals – and where they are not.

Farhan Akhtar, one of the co-facilitators of the dialogue highlighted the “broad participation” of governments, experts and other key stakeholders.

“Across the discussions it was clear that the Paris Agreement has inspired widespread action that has significantly reduced forecasts of future warming. This global stocktake is taking place at a crucial moment to inspire further global action in responding to the climate crisis.”

Decisive action needed

Sultan Al Jaber, president-designate of COP28, emphasized the need to disrupt “business as usual” if the Paris Agreement is to be honoured.

For that emissions must be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030.

“That is why the COP28 Presidency has put forward an ambitious action agenda centred around fast tracking a just and well managed energy transition that leaves no one behind, fixing climate finance, focusing on people lives and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity,” he said.

“I believe we can deliver all of this while creating sustainable economic growth for our people, but we must urgently disrupt business as usual and unite like never before to move from ambition to action and from rhetoric to real results.”