Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, has issued a call for urgent COP28 talks in Dubai to outline “drastic climate action,” warning that global warming is already well beyond safe limits. A recent report by the UN has revealed that countries’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gases are not enough to prevent warming from reaching dangerous levels of 2.9 degrees Celsius this century.
Guterres emphasized the need for leaders to take immediate action, stating that current trends are leading the planet towards a dangerous increase in temperature of three degrees. He criticized the failure of leadership and betrayal of vulnerable communities, calling for increased ambition in national plans to align with 1.5 degrees and end the use of fossil fuels once and for all.
The upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai will be critical in defining the necessary steps to combat climate change. Despite efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the world continues to release record levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, with emissions rising by 1.2% from 2021 to 2022, largely driven by fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes. The UN warns that based on current policies, the planet is on track for disastrous warming of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees by 2100, which could lead to catastrophic consequences such as sea level rise and more frequent natural disasters.