A recent UN report has highlighted progress made on the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) Plans set out by the countries who signed the Paris Agreements are not sufficient to meet targets agreed at European level.
The most crucial of these regards maintaining global temperature increases below the 1.5°C threshold in order to reduce CO2 emissions. According to forecasts, this is now almost impossible to achieve and even more so by the target year of 2030.
This is expected to bring disastrous consequences for the entire planet, with experts predicting the exponential increase of phenomena such as drought, famine, extreme weather events and a long list of issues relating to the global economy.
The objectives of the Paris Agreements and current data
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), is an assembly of scientists and climate experts tasked with verifying data regarding the NDC Plans of countries which, during the Paris COP, signed a specific agreement on tackling the extremely dangerous phenomenon of climate change.
The first point in the document relates to global temperature increases, which, as mentioned above, should not exceed 1.5°C. According to available forecasts, however, in order to remain below this threshold, all participants should reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 43 percent.
The numbers obtained in recent checks have however shown that rather than a gradual and progressive decrease, the opposite is in fact true, with emissions increasing by 10.6%, which, although an improvement on the figure of 13.7% recorded in 2021, is testament to how far off the target remains.
Even if the nations involved decided to intensify their implementation of measures in the next 8 years, they would be very unlikely to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreements, which at the present time, look like a mere list of proposals and promises which are in reality unachieveable.
The problems of the NDC Plans and future developments
The principal factors in the current crisis are: heated disputes between representatives of various countries and difficulties encountered while attempting to make the NDC Plans presented to the UN Climate Commission more efficient.
Data presented at COP26, held in Glasgow two years ago, bore witness to the fact that governments have not been able to fulfil the commitments they made. Out of a total of 193 nations, only 24 had actually presented updated plans of action to tackle the climate crisis.
The more recent COP27, held in Egypt, also turned out to be unproductive, confirming the gravity of the statistics and providing definitive confirmation that, if nations fail to act together swiftly, with complete cooperation, temperature increases will not only fail to meet the 1.5° C target, they will reach levels as high as 3°C by the year 2030.
Nevertheless, long term plans provide a ray of hope. The UN’s technical calculations have in fact shown that 62 nations, representing 93% of the world’s GDP, 47% of the world population and around 69% of total energy consumption, have already prepared a range of strategies to at least try to tackle the inevitable damage caused by global warming.
Uncertainty regarding measures to be taken continues to prevail and the geopolitical instability of recent months has only served to exacerbate these problems. All that can be done to improve the situation is to hope that public awareness will grow and enable a fuller understanding of the future implications of this issue.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith