Planet facing three degrees of global warming this century

Stark warning from UN as countries meet at COP28 climate conference in Dubai

The new report says measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions measures must be ‘ramped up’

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must fall by 42% worldwide by 2030 to meet the temperature goals in the Paris agreement, a new United Nations (UN) report has warned. 

The latest emissions gap report from the UN Environment Programme, Broken record, says current government pledges and policies put the world on track for a temperature rise 2.5- 2.9°C above pre-industrial levels this century. 

Released ahead of the 2023 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the report calculates that predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 42% to prevent temperatures rising above 1.5°C – the goal set at the 2015 COP in Paris. To limit the temperature rise to 2°C, emissions need to fall by 28%. 

‘Significantly ramping up’ implementation of GHG-reduction measures in this decade is the only way to avoid ‘significant overshoot’ of 1.5°C, says the report. Unless emission levels in 2030 are reduced further than governments are currently pledging, it will become ‘impossible’ to establish low-cost pathways to limit global warming to 1.5°C. 

Taking such steps will facilitate more ambitious targets for 2035 in the next round of carbon-reduction pledges and increase the chances of meeting net-zero pledges. 

The report authors also say higher-income and G20 countries must take on a greater share of the responsibility for curbing emissions because of their greater contribution to the problem in the past. 

António Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said: ‘We know it is still possible to make the 1.5-degree limit a reality. It requires tearing out the poisoned root of the climate crisis: fossil fuels. And it demands a just, equitable renewables transition.’