UN Report Reveals Dire Climate Warning Ahead of COP28 Summit

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Over the past eight years since the historic Paris Climate Agreement, global nations have largely failed to reduce pollution sufficiently to prevent disastrous levels of warming. This disappointing conclusion is based on the maiden United Nations report issued since the Paris Climate Agreement.

Later in November, the world’s nations will convene for COP28 in Dubai to evaluate the extent of progress made in reducing global emissions since the Paris Agreement. The report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signifies that despite these efforts, the world remains perilously off-course.

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At COP28, a critical element will be the “global stocktake,” an evaluation of how swiftly the nations are adhering to the emission reduction targets as outlined in the Paris Agreement. The objective is to reduce the rate of temperature escalation on our fast-heating planet.

However, the report articulates a stark warning, stating that time is running out to enhance ambition and fulfill existing commitments. Currently, the world is failing to align with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and ideally below the crucial warming limit of 1.5 degrees.

Our planet has already heated roughly 1.2 degrees higher than preindustrial levels. In fact, this year’s record-breaking summer temperatures escalated to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels. June to August were globally the hottest on record since the initiation of recordkeeping in 1940, as stated by data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The UN report acknowledges that the Paris Agreement has prompted almost every country to prioritize emission reduction, but national efforts are failing conspicuously to keep up with the scale of the crisis. According to the UN report, the world is failing to stay on track with regard to the extensive objectives of the Paris Agreement, despite the Agreement inducing contributions which substantially lower projections of future warming.

In their statement, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the president designate of COP28, urged governments and corporations to act with sincerity and proactiveness in tackling climate change. He emphasized on the global stocktake paving the way for meeting the expectations of the Paris Agreement by executing incisive action in this extremely crucial decade.

A host of experts opined that COP28 is a turning point for the world to act together because extreme weather conditions and lethal heat owing to climate change has struck countries across the world. The UN report is a plea for urgent and radical action, said Tom Evans, climate diplomacy and geopolitics policy advisor at E3G, a think tank.

Evans proposed countries enhance their dependency on renewable energy and phase out fossil fuels. Though feasible, securing a global agreement on eliminating fossil fuels has been a challenging task in the past and might pose hurdles at the summit this year, given it is being hosted by the United Arab Emirates, a nation rich in oil and gas.