World’s first ‘global stocktake’ on climate change published

14th September 2023

The UN has published its first official ‘global stocktake’ of progress tackling climate change since the Paris Agreement, which shows that ambition and implementation “must be accelerated rapidly”.

The assessment, which began in 2021, reveals that global emissions are not in line with modelled pathways that are consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and that there is a “rapidly narrowing window to raise ambition and implement existing commitments”.

Despite technologies needed to mitigate climate change being available and cost-effective, they are not being deployed at anything like the scale or pace that is required, and countries still need to “unlock and redeploy trillions of dollars to meet global investment needs.”

Furthermore, most observed climate adaptation efforts are currently “fragmented, incremental, sector-specific and unequally distributed across regions”, according to the document.

The findings are intended to inform the next round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be put forward by 2025, and will help frame negotiations at the COP28 climate summit in the UAE in November.

IEMA’s director of policy and public affairs, Ben Goodwin, commented: "The global stocktake is yet another stark reminder of the urgent work that is required to tackle the climate crisis and a call to action for countries to inject more ambition into their NDCs.

"For IEMA, the crucial aspect in this is building an international workforce that can deliver. We are therefore calling for countries to set out detailed education and skills roadmaps as part of their revised NDCs."

Despite efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change still being far off what is required, the global stocktake does highlight some areas of progress, with the Paris Agreement driving “near-universal climate action” across the world.

It has led to NDCs that “significantly reduce forecasts of future warming”, and emissions have peaked in developed countries, and some developing nations.

However, "much more ambition" is needed in implementing domestic mitigation measures and NDCs to reduce global emissions by 43% by 2030, and 60% by 2035 – compared with 2019 levels – and reach net zero by 2050.

The document discusses the need to implement demand-side reduction measures, as well as supply-side reduction measures, and about systems transformation being key.

The public health co-benefits of mitigation measures are a recurring theme in the report.

COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, said: “This global stocktake report provides clear direction on how we can meet the expectations of the Paris Agreement by taking decisive action in this critical decade. To keep 1.5°C within reach, we must act with ambition and urgency to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030.

“That is why the COP28 presidency has put forward an ambitious action agenda centered around fast-tracking a just and well-managed energy transition that leaves no one behind, fixing climate finance, focusing on people lives and livelihoods, and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.”

Image credit: Shutterstock

Transform articles

‘Eco-anxiety’ under the spotlight at IEMA Connect 2023

Turning ‘eco-anxiety into eco-action’ was discussed at IEMA Connect 2023 this morning, providing key research and tips to help sustainability professionals deal with feelings of environmental despair.

21st September 2023

Read more

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has this week published a plan to decarbonise the world's buildings and construction sector using an “avoid-shift-improve” solution.

14th September 2023

Read more

Almost half of UK adults feel worse about the climate crisis due to government policy, with one in six suffering with ‘eco-anxiety’, new research suggests.

12th September 2023

Read more

The UK needs a new public investment fund that provides green companies with finance in exchange for part ownership and a share of future profits, a think tank has suggested.

25th August 2023

Read more

Countries in the Global South are trapped in relying on fossil fuel production to repay debts, a new report from the charity Debt Justice claims.

22nd August 2023

Read more

A total of 25 countries – home to a quarter of the global population – face extremely high water stress each year, regularly using up almost their entire available renewable supply.

17th August 2023

Read more

A lack of expert staff at environmental organisations is undermining the UK’s government’s net zero and nature commitments, new research by the trade union Prospect has uncovered.

16th August 2023

Read more

UK households are installing solar panels and heat pumps at a greater rate than ever before, with a 62% year-on-year increase taking place over the first half of 2023.

15th August 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert