The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has urged for crucial COP28 talks in Dubai to outline drastic climate action. He warned that “we are way off track” on global warming and emphasized that current trends are plunging the planet into a dead end of three degrees of temperature rise. The UN chief made his appeal as the global body warned in a new report that countries’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gases put the Earth on a path to warming well beyond fundamental limits – perhaps to a catastrophic 2.9 degrees Celsius this century.
In short, the report shows that the emissions gap is more like an emissions canyon, a canyon littered with broken promises, lives not kept, and records not respected. Guterres criticized the failure of leadership and called it a betrayal of the vulnerable and a missed opportunity. The answer must “light the fuse for an explosion of ambition in 2025,” he said. “This means national plans with clear targets for 2030 and 2035, which align with 1.5 degrees, cover the entire economy, and chart a course to end fossil fuels.”
Taking into account countries’ plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the United Nations has warned that the planet is on track for disastrous warming of between 2.5 and 2.9 degrees by 2100. Based on existing policies and emissions reduction efforts, global warming would reach 3 C. But the world continues to pump record levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, with emissions rising 1.2% from 2021 to 2022. The increase was largely driven by fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes.
COP28 climate talks will begin later this month in Dubai, and Guterres is calling for a drastic action plan to address the alarming trajectory of global warming. The United Nations report emphasizes the urgency of immediate and aggressive action to avert catastrophic consequences for the planet.