The current pace of action is insufficient to meet the Paris targets, according to a report which estimates that mitigation efforts need to be tripled to limit global warming to two.
The 2018 Emissions Gap Report from UN Environment which annually presents a definitive assessment of the ’emissions gap’ — the gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030, compared to levels consistent with a 2/1.5 degrees Celsius target.
The report offers the latest accounting of national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the ParisAgreement.
The report, released ahead of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), shows global emissions have reached historic levels at 53.5 GtCO2e (gigatonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide), with no signs of peaking.
Researchers assessed that only 57 countries (representing 60 per cent of global emissions) are on track to do so by 2030.
That analysis and a review of progress against national commitments under the Paris Agreement makes clear that the current pace of national action is insufficient to meet the Paris targets.
Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap number in this year’s report is larger than ever.
Translated into climate action, researchers conclude that nations must raise their ambition by 3 times to meet the 2 degrees Celsius and 5 times to meet 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” said Joyce Msuya, UN Environment Deputy Executive Director.
“The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen — governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach,” said Msuya.
A continuation of current trends will likely result in global warming of around 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, with continued temperature rises after that, according to the report.