Plans to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 deg C still insufficient: UN

Plans to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 deg C still insufficient: UN
Countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward but these efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, according to a new report from the United Nations.

"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. To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years," said Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change.

According to the report -- UN NDC Synthesis 2022 -- released on Wednesday, the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

The report -- also shows current commitments will increase emissions by 10.6 per cent by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.

This is an improvement over last year's assessment, which found countries were on a path to increase emissions by 13.7 per cent by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.


Last year's analysis showed projected emissions would continue to increase beyond 2030.

However, this year's analysis shows that while emissions are no longer increasing after 2030, they are still not demonstrating the rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2018 report indicated that CO2 emissions needed to be cut 45 per cent by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.

The latest science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)released earlier this year uses 2019 as a baseline, indicating that greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions need to be cut 43 per cent by 2030.

This is critical to meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

UN Climate Change analyzed the climate action plans known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of 193 Parties to the Paris Agreement, including 24 updated or new NDCs submitted after the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26) up until 23 September 2022. Taken together, the plans cover 94.9 per cent of total global GHG emissions in 2019.

"At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year, all countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their climate plans," said Stiell.

"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."

Most of the Parties that submitted new or updated NDCs have strengthened their commitment to reducing or limiting greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and/or 2030, demonstrating increased ambition in addressing climate change.

A second UN Climate Change report on long-term low-emission development strategies, also released today, looked at countries' plans to transition to net-zero emissions by or around mid-century.

The report indicated that these countries' greenhouse gas emissions could be roughly 68 per cent lower in 2050 than in 2019, if all the long-term strategies are fully implemented on time.

COP 26 President Alok Sharma said: "It is critical that we do everything within our means to keep 1.5C in reach, as we promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact. These reports show that although we have made some progress - and every fraction of a degree counts - much more is needed urgently. We need the major emitters to step up and increase ambition ahead of COP27."

The UN Climate Change Conference COP 27 will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November this year.