CO2 emissions continue to rise, warns the UN

The United Nations (UN) has warned that CO2 emissions continue to rise despite the fact that "immediate reductions" are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

A report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published on September 20, 2023 points to an increase of 0,3% in global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions in the first half of the year.

The report, which is based on data from the WMO's Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station network, shows that CO₂ concentrations in the atmosphere reached a new high of 421,3 parts per million in June 2023.

This increase is due to the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has boosted the use of fossil fuels.

CO2 emissions must be reduced

According to data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Earth's global average temperature has increased by 1,15 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial period, which is defined as the period between 1850 and 1900.

The UN warns that global CO₂ emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to prevent the planet from warming more than 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris Agreement sets the goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and continuing efforts to further limit the temperature increase to 1,5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels. .

We are only on track to reduce emissions by 15% by 2030

As highlighted in the report presented this Thursday, “only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals are on track to be met”, something that also has to do with the advance of climate change. For example, the analysis indicates that “almost 670 million people may face” a hunger scenario in 2030 and in part this is due to some “most extreme weather eventss” that affect food security. It is also remembered that adverse phenomena, such as “Heat waves will significantly increase poor health and premature deaths".

"We are very far from where we need to be", declared the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres. "The world is on a dangerous path towards catastrophic warming".

The role of developed countries in the face of CO2 emissions

Developed countries are responsible for the majority of historical CO₂ emissions and have the technologies and resources to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The main emitters of CO₂ in the world are China, the United States, India, the European Union and Russia.

However, the report notes that developing countries also have a role to play in the fight against climate change.

Therefore, developing countries need financial and technological support to develop clean energy and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The UN has called on governments to take urgent measures to reduce CO2 emissions

These steps include:

  • Invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • End fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Establish a price on carbon.
  • Protect the forests.

With information of: