‘Close the climate ambition gap’ says UN chief ahead of COP28

© UNICEF/UN0548109/Jan Grarup | A young girl walks in the flooded village of Ulang in South Sudan.

United Nations, 14 November 2023

The COP28 climate conference held in Dubai later this month “must be the place to urgently close the climate ambition gap”, as emissions continue to rise and climate chaos intensifies, UN chief António Guterres insisted on Tuesday.

Mr. Guterres was commenting on the latest report by UN climate change body UNFCCC, which shows, he said, that global climate ambition stagnated over the past year and national climate plans are “strikingly misaligned” with the science.

“As the reality of climate chaos pounds communities around the world – with ever fiercer floods, fires and droughts – the chasm between need and action is more menacing than ever,” the UN chief said.

The UN’s climate change body says that global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by 45 per cent by the end of this decade compared to 2010 levels, to meet the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Well off course

However according to its latest report, emissions are set to rise by nine per cent instead.

Mr. Guterres called for an acceleration of net zero timelines “so that developed countries get there as close as possible to 2040 and emerging economies as close as possible to 2050”. He also urged increased investment in renewable energy, to go hand in hand with fossil fuels phase out.

The UN chief stressed that developed countries must rebuild trust “by delivering on their finance commitments”.

Mr. Guterres added that “inch by inch progress will not do.  It is time for a climate ambition supernova in every country, city, and sector.”   

The UN chief argued that governments must come together to line up the necessary finance, support and partnerships, while developed countries must rebuild trust by delivering on their finance commitments.

‘Baby steps’ not enough

“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 in Dubai, to get on track,” said the UNFCCC Executive-Secretary, Simon Stiell.

“This means COP28 must be a clear turning point. Governments must not only agree what stronger climate actions will be taken but also start showing exactly how to deliver them.”

He stressed that the conclusion of the first global stocktake at COP28 is where nations can regain momentum to boost action all areas and get on track with meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The stocktake is intended to inform the next round of climate action plans – the nationally determined contributions, or NDCs – to be put forward by 2025, paving the way for accelerated action.

Show the benefits of climate 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. Billions of people expect to see their governments pick up this toolbox and put it to work”, he added.

“Every fraction of a degree matters, but we are severely off track. COP28 is our time to change that,” Mr. Stiell said. “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.”

The original article appeared here.

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