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UN report on climate targets: Big promises, little action

UN report on climate targets: Big promises, little action

As of: September 14, 2023 at 12:13 PM

Unmet goals and lack of ambition: The world is not on track to limit climate change – says a new UN report. This also has consequences for the fight against hunger, poverty and disease.

According to a new report, climate change is undermining almost all of the UN’s sustainability goals such as fighting hunger, poverty and disease. The global community is far from achieving its climate goals. This is the conclusion of the UN report presented by the World Weather Organization (WMO) in Geneva. It says that what governments have recommended so far regarding reducing climate-harmful greenhouse gases is not enough to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. United in Science reportTo which many United Nations organizations contributed. This makes it difficult to achieve the 17 UN development goals by 2030. The report shows how climate change and extreme weather are affecting these goals.

In 2015, the World Climate Conference in Paris decided to limit global warming to two degrees, preferably 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 30 or 45 percent compared to 2010. By 2050, only compensable carbon dioxide emissions should be emitted. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions increased by one percent year-on-year in 2022, the report says. From January to June 2023, the increase may have been 0.3 percent.

According to UN calculations as of October 2022, previous reduction promises made by the world’s countries would lead to an increase in emissions of a good 10% by 2030. Current promises would likely lead to an increase in the average global temperature of 2.6 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels (1850-1900).

Complaints are made of lack of ambition

In 2015, the international community agreed on 17 socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development goals, which it wants to achieve by 2030. This includes the end of poverty and hunger as well as equality in education and gender equality.

The report says that lack of ambition makes it more difficult to achieve UN development goals. The report warns that some climate changes are unlikely to be reversed. But every tenth of global warming is reduced and every ton of carbon dioxide saved can help reduce climate change and achieve development goals.

Currently, only 15 percent of the 17 goals are on track.

Guterres: ‘miserably off track’

In the introduction to the report, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres criticized the global response to climate change, describing it as weak. Halfway towards achieving the goal, the world is “miserably off track” in its sustainable development plans. The report confirms that some future climate changes are inevitable and perhaps irreversible. However, every fraction of a degree and every ton of carbon dioxide will have an impact on global warming and on achieving sustainability goals.

According to experts, science is not only a key element in climate protection, but also in progress towards sustainability goals. For example, climate models, artificial intelligence, or early warning systems can save lives and livelihoods. In addition to the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Global Carbon Project (GCP), and the World Climate Research Program participated in the report.

IAE study sees progress, but not enough

Today, the International Energy Agency also presented a climate study: it calls for increased efforts in transport, agriculture and the construction sector in order to achieve global climate goals. More international cooperation in emission-intensive regions is crucial in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as desired, as called for by the International Energy Agency in the study presented in Paris. Efforts to date have made progress, but are still insufficient. Governments will need to strengthen cooperation in regulation, standard setting, and technical and financial support to accelerate the green transition. The International Energy Agency warned that global emissions are still rising, and that the current rise in temperatures is not in line with our self-imposed targets.