UN says countries’ climate plans ‘nowhere near’ 1.5C goal

Head of UN Climate Change says governments need to strengthen their climate plans and implement them in the next eight years.

A new report by the United Nations has warned that the climate plans from governments worldwide remain insufficient to limit rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

With the planet already suffering from climate-related storms, heatwaves and floods amid temperatures of 1.2C above pre-industrial levels, the UN’s climate experts said on Wednesday the world was still failing to act with sufficient urgency to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“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,” Simon Stiell, executive secretary of UN Climate Change, said in a statement.

“To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.”

The UN’s climate experts have said emissions, compared with 2010 levels, need to fall by 43 percent by 2030 in order to meet the Paris deal’s goal.

But in its latest report, the UN said current commitments from governments will, in fact, increase emissions by 10.6 percent by 2030.

However, the report found that this was “an improvement” over last year’s assessment, which said the countries were on a path to increase emissions by 13.7 percent by 2030.

‘Disappointing’

Stiell said that while all countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their climate plans last year at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) – a global event to address the climate crisis – only 24 nations provided updated or new climate plans since then, calling it “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.”

The 24 countries include Bolivia, Vanuatu and Uganda, as well as the large emitter nations of India and Indonesia. The latter, which sees most emissions come from deforestation and peatland clearance, now says it will cut emissions levels by at least 31.89 percent by 2030.

Globally, inadequate pledges put the world on a path to warm by 2.5C by 2100.

The report comes less than two weeks before world leaders are set to gather in Egypt for COP27.

At the upcoming climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, which will take place from November 6 to November 18, one of the key issues will be providing funding to help poorer countries curb their emissions and strengthen their resilience.

“COP27 must be the place for clarity on vital funding for adaptation and resilience,” UN chief Antonio Guterres told the world body’s General Assembly earlier this month, adding that the event in Egypt “must be the place for serious action on loss and damage”.

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