Countries not moving fast on climate: UN

NEW DELHI: Countries are not moving fast enough to restrict temperature rise to 1.5C or even well below 2C. An assessment of the latest climate action plans, or nationally determined contributions, by the UN climate change secretariat released on Tuesday finds that even if all the commitments were met, the world was on track to get warmer by as much as 2.8C.

The report analysed the most up-to-date nationally determined contributions submitted by countries. It concludes that timely implementation of all pledged actions would lead to an 8% increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to emission levels in 2010. This is a marginal improvement over last year’s assessment, which reported the increase in emissions at nearly 11%.

What comes through in the assessment is that countries have been taking steps to tackle climate change since the 2015 Paris Agreement. The NDC assessment finds that countries have been committing to take steps to tackle climate change, though not fast enough. Collectively, the NDCs will result in a 5.3% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2019. However, this is a far cry from 43% reduction in emissions from 2019 levels by 2030 that scientists have said is essential if temperature rise is to be restricted to 1.5C.

The conclusions were not unexpected. The report confirms the conclusions of another UN report, which was analysing the progress made towards achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. “Governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis,” said Simon Stiell, who heads the UN’s climate change secretariat. The UN’s climate boss stressed that Tuesday’s report spotlights why governments must take bold strides forward at COP28 in Dubai to get on track to fulfilling the Paris promise.

At COP28, countries will be reviewing their efforts and the progress made to meet the goals agreed to in the Paris Agreement. This exercise, the global stock take, will be the first review under the 2015 regime. “This means COP28 must be a clear turning point. Governments must not only agree what stronger climate actions will be taken but also start showing exactly how to deliver them,” said Stiell.

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Roy Walsh

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