Today’s (Monday, March 20, 2023) IPCC Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report adds more clarity and detail to a simple truth: we have to do more on climate change now.
We are in a critical decade for climate action. Global emissions need to be reduced by nearly 43% by 2030 for the world to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Synthesis Report highlights just how far off-track we are.
It’s not too late. The IPCC clearly demonstrates that it is possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius with rapid and deep emissions reductions across all sectors of the global economy. It has given us many feasible, effective and low-cost mitigation and adaptation options to scale up across sectors and countries.
If we are to halve emissions by the end of the decade, we need to get specific now. This year’s so-called Global Stocktake – a process under which countries assess progress towards the Paris goals – is a moment for countries to agree on the concrete milestones that will take us to our 2030 targets.
This roadmap must include detailed steps for all sectors and themes, including climate adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology and capacity building.
By giving us not only a plan based on available options, but also finance reform and a renewed sense of political and corporate accountability on climate change, COP28 can be the moment where we start to course correct to collectively meet the Paris goals.
Simon Stiell is the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary