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The UN says more is needed ‘on all fronts’ to achieve climate goals

By David Stanway and Riham Alkousaa

(Reuters) – The world is not on track to curb global warming and more action is needed on all fronts, the United Nations warned on Friday, ahead of crucial international talks aimed at curbing the growing climate crisis.

The Global Stocktake report, the UN’s latest warning on environmental dangers, will form the basis for the COP28 talks in Dubai at the end of this year and follows months of terrifying wildfires and rising temperatures.

The report, which is the culmination of a two-year review of the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, includes thousands of submissions from experts, governments and campaigners.

“The Paris Agreement has spurred near-universal climate action by setting goals and sending signals to the world about the urgency of a response to the climate crisis,” the report said. “While the action continues, much more is now needed on all fronts.”

Nearly 200 countries agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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While each country is responsible for deciding on its own climate action, they also agreed to produce a progress report by 2023 to see what more needs to be done.

The UN said existing national commitments to reduce emissions were insufficient to keep temperatures within the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold. More than 20 gigatonnes of further CO2 reductions were needed this decade – and net zero global emissions by 2050 – to meet the targets, the UN report said.


The report urges countries to “unabatedly” reduce coal energy use by 67 to 92 percent by 2030, compared to 2019, and to virtually eliminate this source of electricity by 2050.

Low-carbon and zero-carbon electricity should account for as much as 99% of the global total by mid-century, and the technological challenges holding back carbon capture must be resolved.

The report also called for mobilizing financing to support low-carbon development, noting that billions of dollars continue to be invested in fossil fuels.

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“It gives governments a bold to-do list to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and protect people around the world from climate devastation,” said Tom Evans, climate diplomacy policy adviser at British climate think tank E3G.

Commitment was needed to phase out fossil fuels, set 2030 targets for expanding renewable energy, ensure the financial system funds climate action and raise funds for adaptation and damage, he said.

“Anything less will fall short of the necessary steps set out in this report.”

Sultan Al Jaber, who will chair the conference from November 30 to December. At the 12th summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Reuters said the stocktake provided good direction and urged states and private sector leaders to come to COP28 with real commitments.

Also on Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told leaders of the G20 bloc that they have the power to reset a climate crisis that is “spiraling out of control.”

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(Reporting by David Stanway in Singapore and Riham Alkousaa in Berlin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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