October 2022 saw the publication of a shocking catalogue of bad news for the prospects of reducing climate change and its consequences. These reports come just before the UN Climate Change Conference COP 27 which will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November.
The UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report 2022 stated that “the climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies finds that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disaster.” The only way to limit the worst impacts of the climate crisis is a “rapid transformation of societies”.
A report from UN Climate Change shows countries are “bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward but underlines that these efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. According to the report, the combined climate pledges of 193 Parties under the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. The report also shows current commitments will increase emissions by 10.6% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.”
The World Meteorological Organization reported that that “Atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide all reached new record highs in 2021,”.
The findings of the Countdown report on on health and climate change published by the Lancet “reveal that governments and companies continue to follow strategies that increasingly threaten the health and survival of all people alive today, and of future generations.”
UN High Commissioner for Refugees called on global leaders to spare no efforts in assisting countries in the Horn of Africa to break the cycle of conflict and climate crises. “Many who have already been forced to flee violence have been displaced yet again by the worst drought in 40 years, brought on by four failed rainy seasons, with a fifth predicted. Globally, such extreme weather events are intensifying and becoming more frequent due to the climate crisis.”
Climate Action Tracker’s State of Climate Action 2022 report finds that
Of the 40 indicators assessed, none are on track to achieve their 2030 targets. Instead:
- Six indicators are “off track,” moving in the right direction at a promising but insufficient speed.
- 21 indicators are “well off track,” heading in the right direction but well below the required pace.
- Five indicators are headed in the wrong direction entirely.
- Eight have insufficient data to track progress.
And the UK government reported that all of England’s South West region now in drought. There have been 5 consecutive months of below average rainfall across all geographic regions in England and above average temperatures. River flows, groundwater levels and reservoir stocks all decreased during July.