GHG emissions at all-time high – a failure of leadership, says UN Sec Gen

File photo of UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

NEW YORK, Nov 20: Greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high, and if nothing changes, GHG emissions in 2030 will be 22 gigatonnes higher than the limit of 1.5 degrees celsius will allow, said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres citing the United Nations Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report launched here today.

GHG emissions in 2022 was at 1.2 percent higher than in 2021 according to the report.

These emissions, equivalent to the present annual combined emissions from the US, China and EU, are shattering temperature records, he said, with the months of June, July, August, September and October this year being the hottest in records.

Present trends are also indicating a 3 degrees rise in the temperature of the planet, Guterres said, likening the emissions gap to “more of a emissions canyon. A canyon littered with broken promises, lives and broken records.”

All of these is a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable and massive missed opportunities but it is still possible to make the 1.5 degrees limit in temperature rise a reality, he said.

“Renewables have never been cheaper and more accessible…we know how to get there. We have the roadmaps.”

He urged leaders to drastically up their game, reiterating the call to cut fossil fuels and move to equitable energy transition.

The Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record – Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions was released ahead of the 2023 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The report said that global low-carbon transformations are needed to deliver cuts to predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions of 28 per cent for a 2°C pathway and 42 per cent for a 1.5°C pathway.

— WE