Geneva, September 14, 2023. Halfway through the deadline set for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, science is sending a clear message: the planet is far from reaching its climate goals. According to a new inter-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), this situation undermines global efforts to fight hunger, poverty and health problems, improve access to clean water and clean energy, and addressing many other aspects of sustainable development.
Only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being implemented adequately, the report explains. United in Science (United in Science), which systematically analyzes the impacts of climate change and extreme events during the SDGs. The publication presents the contributions of meteorological, climate and hydrological sciences to the achievement of goals such as food and water security, clean energy, health improvement, ocean sustainability and the resilience of cities.
The annual report brings together contributions and insights from 18 organizations. Its publication will take place before the celebration of the SDG Summit and the Climate Ambition Summit within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly.
“The year 2023 shows us with stark clarity that climate change is here. Unprecedented temperatures are scorching the land and warming the seas, while extreme weather events are wreaking havoc across the planet. And although we know that this is “Only the beginning, the global response is clearly not enough. Meanwhile, midway through the 2030 deadline in which the SDGs must be achieved, the world is on track,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
“Science is important in finding solutions. It is well known that meteorological, climate and hydrological science is the foundation of climate action. However, how these sciences can help take more steps towards achieving ot the SDGs in all areas do not enjoy much recognition. ,” wrote Mr. Guterres in the introduction.
“At this important moment in history, in the middle of the SDG achievement period, the scientific community is working together for the development of people and planet,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.
“Revolutionary scientific and technological advances, such as high-resolution climate modeling, artificial intelligence and nowcasting, can drive change to achieve the SDGs. livelihoods, but also contribute to the protection of sustainable development,” he commented.
The report shows, for example, how weather forecasts can help boost food production and bring us closer to zero hunger. Integrating epidemiology and climate information can help understand and predict climate-sensitive diseases. And early warning systems help reduce poverty by giving people the opportunity to prepare and limit the impact.
Never before have scientific insights and solutions been needed more.
Between 1970 and 2021, almost 12,000 disasters caused by extreme weather, climate and hydrological events were reported, causing more than 2 million deaths and US$ 4.3 trillion in economic losses. More than 90% of reported deaths and 60% of economic losses occur in developing economies and undermine sustainable development.
The increase in global temperature is accompanied by the development of extreme weather conditions. There is a 66% chance that, in at least one of the next five years, global annual average near-surface temperatures will temporarily exceed pre-industrial levels by more than 1.5° C, with this probability increasing as the year passes. .
So far, we have seen very limited progress in reducing the 2030 emissions gap, that is, the difference between the emission reductions promised by countries and the emission reductions needed to achieve the temperature target set by Paris Agreement. Carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by 1% worldwide in 2022 compared to 2021, and preliminary estimates for the period from January to June 2023 show a further increase of 0.3%.
To get things back on track and be in a position to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals of keeping warming well below 2°C and preferably limiting it to 1.5°C, the global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 30% and 45% respectively by 2030, and CO emissions2 They must approach net zero by 2050. To achieve this, systemic change must be implemented quickly and on a large scale.
Some of the changes we will experience in the climate are inevitable, and perhaps irreversible, but every fraction of a degree and every tonne of CO₂ is important to limit global warming and achieve the SDGs , the report explained.
“The science continues to show that we are not doing enough to reduce emissions and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – as the world prepares for the first global stocktake at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) “In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), we must be more ambitious and active, and we must all work to transform our economies through a just transition to of a sustainable future for people and the planet.” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).