The latest UNEP Emissions Gap Report (EGR) has found that today’s carbon-cutting policies are so inadequate that 3°C of heating would be reached this century. Each year, the UN’s EGR series tracks global progress in limiting global warming well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement.
To meet 1.5°C target, 22 billion tonnes of CO2 must be cut from the currently projected total in 2030, the report said. That is 42% of global emissions and equivalent to the output of the world’s five worst polluters: China, US, India, Russia and Japan. The report said that implementing future policies already promised by countries would reduce 0.1°C from the 3°C limit. Putting in place emissions cuts pledged by developing countries on condition of receiving financial and technical support would cut the temperature rise to 2.5°C, still devastating, the Guardian reported.
In a separate report, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has said climate heating gases in atmosphere such as CO2 reached record highs in 2022, there is no end in sight to the rising trend, which is largely driven by the burning of fossil fuels. The report said that the concentration of carbon dioxide is now 50% higher than before the start of the Industrial Revolution.
The Earth has not experienced similar levels of CO2 for 3-5 million years, when the global temperature was 2-3°C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than today, the WMO said. Other main greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, also grew, according to the report, published ahead of the UN’s COP28 climate summit.
CSE report: India faced extreme weather events nearly daily in first 9 months of this year
According to an analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India witnessed extreme weather events nearly daily in the first nine months this year, claiming an estimated 2,923 human lives, affecting 1.84 million hectares (ha) of crop area, destroying over 80,563 houses, and killing nearly 92,519 livestock, HT reported. CSE researchers said the losses and damages could be higher as data for each event was not collated nor were the losses of public property or crops calculated.
Using data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and home ministry, the report said India recorded extreme weather events on 235 of the 273 days (86%) from January 1 to September 30 in different parts of the country. Record-breaking temperatures were reported for months. Regions across the country were also deluged because of very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall.
Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of days with extreme weather events—every second day. Bihar suffered the highest number of human losses at 642, followed by Himachal Pradesh (365) and Uttar Pradesh (341).
‘Colonial rule nearly doubles UK’s historical contribution to climate change’
The latest analyses of historical emissions by Carbon Brief shows that the UK is responsible for nearly twice as much global warming as previously thought because of its colonial history. The article states that historical emissions matter because the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to the record temperatures expected in 2023.
In earlier assessments, the UK’s historical cumulative (CO2 from fossil fuels, cement, land use, land use change and forestry) emissions, at 3.0% of the global share, ranked it the eighth-largest contributor to current warming, behind the US (1), China (2), Russia (3), Brazil (4), Germany (5), Indonesia (6) and its former colony India (7). The new analyses in the light of its colonial past holds the UK responsible for 5.1% of global share of warming, pushing it up to fourth place historically, after the US, China and Russia and followed by India, Brazil and Germany.
Within the borders of the country, the UK released some 76.4 billion tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) between 1850-2023 (3.0% of global cumulative emissions over the same period). After adding emissions the UK caused in its colonies, they rise to 130.2 GtCO2.
China’s CO2 emissions falling, likely to touch net-zero decade earlier in 2050
According to an analyses published by Carbon Brief, China’s CO2 emissions may be falling already. The country’s emissions were expected to fall next year and potentially enter structural decline. China’s target of net-zero by 2060 is likely to be achieved a decade earlier than previously assumed, in a “remarkable turn of events”, the article published in the Telegraph states adding that a 2024 Decrease in power sector carbon emissions “is essentially locked in”. China is likely to see a fall in total CO2 emitted in the first half of next year, in part driven by the “staggering” growth of clean energy bases, which is going “hand in hand” with higher rates of approvals for new coal plants that will likely remain idle as renewable energy capacity grows.
Lancet on health and climate change: Heat-related deaths to rise 370% by 2050
The annual Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report says climate change is on track to cause a 370% surge in heat-related deaths by mid-century “if government inaction on global warming continues”. The report also concludes that every health hazard it monitors is predicted to worsen if temperatures rise to 2°C by the end of the century.
Citing the Lancet findings DTE wrote In India, 191 billion potential labour hours were lost due to heat exposure in 2022. Agricultural workers are the worst affected in many countries, with the burden often shifting to those in construction in higher income countries, the report stated.
US National Climate Assessment report: US regions will suffer a stunning variety of climate-caused disasters
The US released its Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA) report that said hotter temperatures and extreme weather are impacting every corner of the US, according to the country’s latest climate assessment. The outlet says while many regions are experiencing heavy showers more frequently, others are seeing worsening drought, and some are getting both. These changes are translating into greater stresses on public health through worsening heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, floods and the psychological toll of mounting disaster, the report said. The report appeared at a time when the state of Florida was battling power cuts amid heavy rains and high winds. More than 100,000 Floridians were without power.
One-day temperatures breach 2°C warming point for first time: Report
On November 17, global temperatures, for the first time, rose more than 2°C hotter than levels before industrialisation, according to preliminary data shared on X by Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, based in Europe. Attributed to El Nono and long-term human-caused climate change, the temperature crossed a crucial threshold that scientists have been warning for decades could have catastrophic and irreversible impacts on the planet and its ecosystems, data shared by a prominent climate scientist shows, the CNN reported.
The dreaded limit was crossed briefly and does not mean that the world is at a permanent state of warming above 2°C, the report said adding that it is a symptom of a planet getting steadily hotter and hotter, and moving towards a longer-term situation where climate crisis impacts will be difficult—in some cases impossible—to reverse.