Global warming will continue to increase, warns the UN if the world doesn’t act now.

The UN has claimed that the world will soon begin to find it difficult to reach the goals it pledged within the Paris Agreement. The organisation has stated that countries around the world have become ‘negligible’ and temperatures will begin to soar, increasing the impacts of climate change and global warming.

Due to previous and current failures from governments around the world, we are set to see temperatures reach an increase of 2.9ᴼC by the end of the century. The UN Environment Programme or UNEP, has released its 2023 Emissions Gap Report which states that global emissions are not being reduced at a quick enough rate and that emissions are actually increasing.

Renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions

Research by the UNEP has led them to conclude that emissions worldwide have increased each year by 1.2%. In 2022, this increase was at the highest it has been, as emissions reached 57.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

In 2022 emissions reached 57.4 gigatonnes of CO2e.

There is a chance that emissions will reduce by 2030, but it depends on governments around the world implementing necessary policies. These policies fall under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that were set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. If all countries work towards their pledges through important policies emissions could lower by 3%, meaning that they will lower to roughly 55 gigatonnes.

This, however, is still not a significant enough reduction to mitigate climate change and global warming. The UN have stated that for there to be a significant effect, a 28% reduction will need to be reached. This would put the world on a pathway for a 2ᴼC rise, not the initial goal to keep the temperature rise to under 1.5ᴼC, to keep the effects of global warming to a minimum. To stay on track for a less than 1.5ᴼC rise, emissions would have to have to lower by 42% globally by 2030.

To reach a 42% reduction, the UN have calculated that globally emissions would need to reduce by 8.5% each year. This is an incredibly high figure to reach. During the lockdowns of 2020, the world’s emissions reached a reduction of 4.5%.

During the lockdowns of 2020, the world’s emissions reached a reduction of 4.5%.

On the track that we are on, researchers and scientists have warned that this can lead to detrimental effects, including:

  • Irreversible damage to ecosystems
  • 3 billion people in areas that will become unliveable
  • Increased natural disasters, e.g., floods, wildfires, droughts
  • Loss of ecosystems and wildlife
  • Higher temperatures
  • Lack of water
  • Lack of food
  • Habitat loss
  • 99% of the coral reef will disappear
  • Environment degradation
Global Warming
  • Plants will not be able to pollinate due to changes in necessary factors e.g., temperature rise, lack of water, loss of insect populations
  • Sea level rising
  • Loss of marine life
  • Loss of livelihoods

Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, has stated that:

“There is no person or economy left on the planet untouched by climate change, so we need to stop setting unwanted records on emissions, temperature and extreme weather. We must instead lift the needle out of the same old groove of insufficient action and start setting other records: on cutting emissions and on climate finance.”

One of the biggest contributors to climate change and global warming is the use of fossil fuels. Worryingly there are many countries around the world that are looking towards increasing their fossil fuel projects, including the UAE who are hosting this year’s COP28.

A statement from H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President-Designate regarding COP28 in the UAE, says:

 

“Together, we will prioritise efforts to accelerate emissions reductions through a pragmatic energy transition, reform land use, and transform food systems. We will work to mobilise solutions for vulnerable countries, operationalise loss and damage, and deliver the most inclusive Conference possible.”