A grim read.
The Emissions Gap Report 2023 provides an annual assessment of the gap between countries’ pledged greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and the reductions required to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Global GHG emissions and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit new record highs in 2022.
- There has been little progress on strengthening countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) since the COP27 climate summit. The emissions gap remains very large – current NDCs put us on track for 2.4-2.6°C of warming rather than the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal.
- Net zero pledges now cover around 80% of global emissions but confidence is low that countries are taking actions consistent with achieving these.
- Significant further action is needed this decade to keep the 1.5°C goal viable, otherwise much more rapid cuts will be needed after 2030. The next round of NDCs, due in 2025 with 2035 targets, will be crucial.
- Developed countries need to accelerate domestic emissions cuts and provide finance to support transitions in developing countries. Developing countries face challenges in transitioning but also opportunities.
- Delayed action means negative emissions technologies will likely be needed at scale to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. But the feasibility and sustainability of these technologies is highly uncertain.
The report stresses unprecedented global cooperation and transformation is urgently needed across all countries and sectors to meet the 1.5°C goal and avoid breaching critical climate tipping points.