Explainer: The Global Stocktake, are we on track to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement?

In the face of a rapidly intensifying climate crisis, the world is grappling with the urgent need to accelerate climate action. The global stocktake, a critical component of the Paris Agreement, offers a unique opportunity to assess progress, identify gaps, and chart a course towards a more sustainable future.

In 2022, the UN Climate Change Conference began its first stocktake and it is scheduled to conclude by the upcoming COP28 in Dubai next month. The two-year process will take place every five years is a process where countries collectively assess how they are progressing in limiting global warming under 1.5 degrees Celcius, and building resilience to climate change impacts.

The inventory process or taking stock where the world stands on climate action, and identifying the gaps, is important to help policymakers and stakeholders strengthen climate policies and action and how they can work together to better the course.

The science is clear: we need to change course, and we need to do it now. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest Synthesis Report in March of this year, highlighting how far off track the world is from meeting its climate goals. A UN Climate Change report found that current climate pledges put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, well above the 1.5 degree Celsius target set in the Paris Agreement.

We are in a critical decade for climate action. Global emissions need to be nearly halved by 2030 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Transformational adaptation is also needed to help communities and ecosystems cope with the climate impacts that are already occurring and are expected to intensify.

We need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This means transitioning to a clean energy economy, investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, and protecting our forests and other natural resources. It also means working together to ensure that the benefits of climate action are shared equitably.

The Road Ahead: COP28 and Beyond

COP28 holds immense significance for the global stocktake. The conference will provide a platform for countries to adopt a political outcome summarising key messages, identifying opportunities, and outlining challenges to enhance climate action and support. This outcome will inform the preparation of more ambitious national climate action plans, due in 2025.

The global stocktake is not a mere assessment; it is a catalyst for action. It provides a roadmap for strengthening climate policies, accelerating ambition, and ensuring that the world stays on track to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. The findings of the first stocktake serve as a wake-up call, urging countries to step up their commitments and take decisive action to avert the worst impacts of climate change. As the world gathers at COP28, the global stocktake will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of climate action. Read further about the Global Stocktake here. (nsh)

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