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UN calls for more in pre-Cop28 climate progress review

Protestors against climate change Pexels/Robin Erino
Protestors demand action against climate change. The UN's latest findings say more needs to be done to keep global temperatures down
  • World is ‘severely off track’, UN says 
  • Current action would increase emissions by 8.8%
  • Set to be 2% lower than 2019 levels by 2030

More action is needed to make progress in the fight against climate change, the United Nations has said in the lead up to Cop28.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) analysed 195 commitments outlining the steps countries plan to take to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. 

By current projections, the UN says that by 2030 emissions are projected to be 2 percent below 2019 levels, meaning peak global emissions should occur within this decade. 

Known as National Determined Contributions (NDCs), these commitments have to be submitted to the UN each year by the signatories of the 2016 Paris Agreement, which pledged to keep global warming to a maximum 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialisation levels. 

Of the 195 NDCs assessed in the UN’s “NDC synthesis”, 20 are new or updated submissions made for the period up until 25 September. The NDCs will be discussed by participating nations at Cop28.  

The report found that current NDC commitments would increase emissions by about 8.8 percent over 2010 levels by 2030. This is a marginal improvement on last year’s assessment, which found countries’ plans would have increased emissions by 10.6 percent by the end of the decade. 

“While emissions are no longer increasing after 2030 compared to 2019 levels, they are still not demonstrating the rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade,” the report noted. 

However, the world is “severely off track” in being able to stick to this path, said Simon Stiell, executive-secretary of UNFCCC.

To curb global warming to 1.5 degrees and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, emissions need to be cut by a further 43 percent compared with 2019 levels by 2030, he said. 

“Today’s report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. Cop28 is our time to change that.” 

The summit takes place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. The UAE announced today that it is aiming to highlight the importance of climate action among the general public with a series of community awareness events across the country, branded “PopCop”. 

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