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January 3, 2024   Xinhua
COP28 Must Set Stage for Immediate Climate Action, Says UN Report

Climate Change;Greenhouse Gas Emissions Controls;International Engagement

A new report from UN Climate Change (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat) says that national climate action plans remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Even with increased efforts by some countries, the report says much more action is needed now to bend the world's emissions trajectory further downward and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Today's report shows that governments combined are taking baby steps to avert the climate crisis. And it shows why governments must make bold strides forward at COP28 (the UN Climate Change Conference) in Dubai, to get on track," UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said.

Stiell said that the conclusion of the first global stocktake at COP28 is where nations can regain momentum to scale up their efforts across all areas and get on track with meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The stocktake is intended to inform the next round of climate action plans under the Paris Agreement (known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs) to be put forward by 2025, paving the way for accelerated action.

"The Global Stocktake report released by UN Climate Change this year clearly shows where progress is too slow. But it also lays out the vast array of tools and solutions put forward by countries," Stiell said.

According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. This is critical to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.

"It's time to show the massive benefits now of bolder climate action: more jobs, higher wages, economic growth, opportunity and stability, less pollution and better health," Stiell said.

UN Climate Change analyzed the NDCs of 195 parties to the Paris Agreement, including 20 new or updated NDCs submitted before Sept. 25, 2023.

In line with the findings of last year's analysis, the report shows that while emissions are no longer projected to increase after 2030 compared to 2019 levels, they are still not demonstrating the rapid downward trend science says is necessary this decade.

"Using the Global Stocktake to plan ahead, we can make COP28 a game-changer and provide a springboard for a two-year climate action surge," Stiell said.

"COP28 must be a historic turning point in this critical decade for parties to seize the moment of the Global Stocktake to commit to raise their ambition and to unite, act and deliver outcomes that keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach while leaving no one behind," Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 president designate, commented.

"It is essential while we pursue our undertaking to continue seeking climate justice and assist the Global South, which contributes the least in emissions yet bears the brunt of the most vicious effects of climate change, to not only survive but also transition into more sustainable economy through just transition pathways," said COP27 President and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.