The world is on track to double the United Nation's warming limit even if countries meet their current greenhouse gas emission limits, according to a new report.
In 2015 at the Paris Climate Accords, the UN proposed a limit on greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. As the annual climate conference between world leaders approaches, the agency is once again warning that the world is no where near close enough to reaching their agreed upon goal.
The world is instead expected to warm by up to 2.9C compared to preindustrial levels in the next century, the UN's Environment Program (UNEP) found in their 2023 Emissions Gap Report, titled Broken Record.
“Present trends are racing our planet down a dead-end three-degree temperature rise. In short, the report shows that the emissions gap is more like an emissions canyon. A canyon littered with broken promises, broken lives, and broken records,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a press conference Monday.
The rich and their pollution
2023 was a year of climate breaking records, as 86 days had temperatures over 1.5C, and September was recorded to be the hottest month in history, shortly after July had achieved the same record when several U.S. cities experienced unprecedented heat waves.
In order to prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5C, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by at least 42 percent by 2030. To stay within 2 degrees of warming, emissions must be cut 28 percent, according to the report.
149 countries have updated their climate pledges to fit within the 2015 Paris climate agreement and curb their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The report was released just days before world leaders are expected to meet in Dubai for the COP28 summit, where officials and activists alike are hoping to see stronger support of renewable energy methods.
”All of this is a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive missed opportunity," Guterres continued. "Renewables have never been cheaper or more accessible.”