Press Conference by António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, and Inger Andersen, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director, on the launch of the UN Environment Programme's Emissions Gap Report.
New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned.
"Less than one week before COP26 in Glasgow, we are still on track for climate catastrophe", said UN Secretary-General António Guterres during a press conference introducing the new assessment.
"As the title of this year’s report puts it: 'The heat is on'. And as the contents of the report show — the leadership we need is off. Far off", he warned.
Tuesday’s new Emissions Gap Report shows that updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) - the efforts by each country to reduce national emissions, as well as other commitments made for 2030 but not yet officially submitted - would only lead to an additional 7.5 per cent reduction in annual greenhouse emissions in 2030, compared to previous commitments.
This is not enough. According to the agency, the world needs a 55 per cent reduction to limit global temperature increase below 1.5°C, the capstone defined by scientists as the less risky scenery for our planet and humanity’s future.
“The world has to wake up to the imminent peril we face as a species. Nations need to put in place the policies to meet their new commitments and start implementing them within months”, warned Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director in the foreword.
“They need to make their net zero pledges more concrete, ensuring these commitments are included in NDCs, and action brought forward. They then need to get the policies in place to back this raised ambition and, again, start implementing them urgently”, she added.