The world is heading for a devastating 2.9°C temperature rise by 2100, warn experts in new report 

Instead of meeting targets and cutting emissions, terrifying new record temperatures are being set and emissions are continuing to rise, says the United Nations’ latest Emissions Gap Report, which has forecast a dramatic global temperature rise of 2.9°C by the end of the century. 

The Emissions Gap Report 2023, which was published on 20th November, is a concerning read. While it acknowledges that progress has been made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, greenhouse gas emissions are still projected to increase by 3% by 2030. 

This may not sound like a large increase, but if the targets set by the Agreement to limit global temperature rise by 2°C are to be achieved, emissions must fall by 28%. If the more ambitious aim of 1.5°C is to be met, that reduction must be significantly larger at 42%.  

Nations must “go further than current Paris pledges” 

The report warns that the carbon-cutting policies being put in place by governments around the world are simply insufficient if the Agreement’s targets are to be upheld, saying that if all unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) made under the Agreement are implemented, global temperature rise will reach 2.9°C by the end of this century.

Simply put, nations must “go further than current Paris pledges of face global warming of 2.9°C”.  

An acceleration of policies will be needed, says the report, which also calls on “countries with greater capacity and responsibility for emissions… to take more ambitious action and support developing nations as they pursue low-emissions development growth”.  

“Humanity is breaking all the wrong records on climate change,” reads the aptly titled ‘Broken Record’ report. “Greenhouse gas emissions and the global average temperature are hitting new highs, while extreme weather events are occurring more often, developing faster and becoming more intense.” 

Ahead of the COP28 next week, Secretary General of the UN António Guterres has been quoted as saying, “Present trends are racing our planet down a dead-end 3°C temperature rise. This is a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive missed opportunity. Renewables have never been cheaper or more accessible. We know it is still possible to make the 1.5°C limit a reality. It requires tearing out the poisoned root of the climate crisis: fossil fuels.” 

In a reflection of the message of the Emissions Gap Report, albeit in more powerful terms, Guterres has said, “Leaders must drastically up their game, now, with record ambition, record action, and record emissions reductions. No more greenwashing. No more foot-dragging.” 

Click here to read the report. 


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Photo source: Marek Piwnicki, Unsplash