The world is getting further away from meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, a U.N. report warned Nov. 20.
The 2023 Emissions Gap Report: Broken Record, released by the U.N. Environment Programme said the world is heading for temperature increases of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
"The world is witnessing a disturbing acceleration in the number, speed and scale of broken climate records. At the time of writing, 86 days have been recorded with temperatures exceeding 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels this year," the report said.
In addition to global average temperatures above preindustrial levels, "devastating extreme events" promise further setbacks, it said.
The 14th Emissions Gap Report sets the stage for the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP28, where countries will face pressure to escalate climate pledges and actions.
The conference begins Nov. 28 in Dubai and will feature the first "global stocktake" of how the Paris Agreement has been implemented so far. That will inform the next round of countries' national determined contributions for 2025 and their 2035 targets.
While the most optimistic scenario in which all NDCs and net-zero pledges are met is achievable, the emissions report said, current pledges are not credible and no G20 country is reducing emissions at a pace consistent with its net-zero targets.
"We must instead lift the needle out of the same old groove of insufficient ambition and not enough action, and start setting other records: on cutting emissions, on green and just transitions and on climate finance," said Inger Andersen, UNEP executive director, in a presentation about the report in Nairobi.
Getting back on track to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the temperature increase above preindustrial levels to 2 degrees Celsius would take a 28% cut in greenhouse gas emissions or more, and the goal of a 1.5-degree Celsius limit will require a 42% cut, the report said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a separate statement called the current emissions gap "a failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive missed opportunity."
Guterres called on countries to commit to phasing out fossil fuels with a clear time frame.