World way off track to meet Paris goals, says UN report, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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While progress has been made in combating climate change, the world is far from being on track to meet the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, says a technical report on the first-ever Global Stocktake (GST) published on Friday.

The GST is a two-year UN review to assess the collective global progress towards achieving the purpose of the Paris Agreement. The first stocktake got underway at the UN climate change conference in Glasgow (COP26) in November 2021 and will conclude at COP28 in Dubai this year.

The comprehensive report by the United Nations underscores the need for climate action to be rooted in justice and equity.

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, laid the groundwork for global cooperation to address climate change, but the report highlights disparities in the current level of commitment.

The burden of climate impacts falls disproportionately on developing countries, making equity a central concern.

“Equity should enable greater ambition and increase the likelihood of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Those most affected by climate impacts should be involved in crafting solutions,” the report reads.

The report underlines the importance of scaling up renewable energy while phasing out unabated fossil fuels, a critical element in achieving net-zero emissions.

“Scaling up renewable energy and phasing out unabated fossil fuels are indispensable elements of just energy transitions to net-zero emissions,” it says. Climate finance remains a central enabler for climate action, particularly in developing countries.

The report highlights both progress and shortfalls in climate finance. While public funds play a significant role, there is a growing need for increased private sector engagement.

“Simplified and improved access to climate finance can allow for the more rapid deployment of urgently needed finance while also better serving local needs,” the synthesis report on the technical dialogue of GST says.

It underscores the urgency of mitigation efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial average and acknowledged that global emissions are not aligning with the necessary pathways.

“Action is needed to increase both the mitigation ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the implementation of measures to achieve their targets,” the report states.

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “I urge governments to carefully study the findings of the report and ultimately understand what it means for them and the ambitious action they must take next. It’s the same for businesses, communities and other key stakeholders. While the catalytic role of the Paris Agreement and the multilateral process will remain vital in the coming years, the global stocktake is a critical moment for greater ambition and accelerating action.”

Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the next UN climate talks to be held in Dubai, responded to the report by highlighting the need for ambitious action.

He emphasised the need to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal within reach.

Al Jaber stressed the importance of a just and well-managed energy transition, climate finance, people’s lives and livelihoods, inclusivity, and the rapid decarbonization of the energy system.

“We need to rapidly decarbonize both the supply side and demand side of the energy system at the same time, triple renewable energy by 2030, commercialize other zero carbon solutions like hydrogen and scale up the energy system free of all unabated fossil fuels, while we eliminate the emissions of the energies we use today.

“We need to protect and enhance nature, safeguard carbon sinks and transform food systems that account for one third of emissions. And we need fundamental reform of the international financial architecture that was built for the last century,” he said.

On adaptation, the report highlights that while progress has been made in planning, more ambitious and effective adaptation actions are required.

“Collective progress on adaptation and loss and damage must undergo a step change in fulfilling the ambition set out in the Paris Agreement,” it emphasises.

Global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for achieving the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals. The report noted that peaking must occur between 2020 and 2025.

It also stresses the importance of halting deforestation, reducing non-CO2 emissions, and implementing supply- and demand-side measures.

“Halting and reversing deforestation by 2030 and restoring and protecting natural ecosystems will result in large-scale CO2 absorption and co-benefits,” it says.

The report underscores the need for international cooperation to support the development and deployment of climate technologies.

“Efforts must be pursued on all fronts towards meeting investment needs, including by making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate resilient development,” it says.

Capacity-building remains foundational for effective climate action. The report calls for systemic investments to enhance human and institutional capacities, particularly in developing countries.

  • Published On Sep 9, 2023 at 08:19 AM IST

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