U.N. REPORT EMPHASIZES INCREASED GLOBAL ACTION TO REDUCE FOSSIL FUELS
Last week, the United Nations (U.N.) released a new report warning that the world is falling short in its efforts to combat global warming, highlighting the need for increased action in the lead-up to the COP28 climate talks in Dubai later this year. The Global Stocktake report, based on a two-year evaluation of the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals, underscores that while progress has been made, more significant efforts are required on all fronts (Guardian).
The Paris Agreement aimed to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, the report states that existing national commitments to reduce emissions are insufficient to stay within the 1.5-degree threshold. To achieve the goals, more than 20 gigatons of additional carbon dioxide reductions are needed in this decade, along with reaching global net-zero emissions by 2050 (Reuters).
The report's findings align with the March 2023 recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which called for drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the abandonment of fossil fuels. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has also stressed the urgency of transitioning away from fossil fuels (Mongabay). The stocktake's considerations at COP28 will guide new commitments by countries, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), under the Paris Agreement. The report does not specify which countries need to do more, but emphasizes the need for more ambitious mitigation targets within NDCs (Mongabay).
Climate-vulnerable countries called for global leaders to take action based on the report's findings. One Brazilian climate official stated: "What we need is an unprecedented mobilization both in terms of scale and speed of all of humanity’s financial, technology, and capacity building resources to be channeled towards sustainable development” (Reuters).