by Kate Hua-Ke Chi, Junior Research Fellow in Climate Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
When this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference begins in late November 2023, it will be a moment for course correction. Seven years ago, nearly every country worldwide signed onto the Paris climate agreement. They agreed to goals of limiting global warming – including key targets to be met by 2030, seven years from now.
A primary aim of this year’s conference, known as COP28, is to evaluate countries’ progress halfway to the 2030 deadlines.
Reports show that the world isn’t on track. At the same time, energy security concerns and disputes over how to compensate countries for loss and damage from climate change are making agreements on cutting emissions tougher to reach.
A cornerstone of COP28 is the conclusion of the global stocktake, a review underway of the world’s efforts to address climate change. It is designed to pinpoint deficiencies and help countries recalibrate their climate strategies.
If countries meet their current pledges, the world is likely to warm by about 2.5 C (4.5 F) by the end of this century, the U.N. warned in late November. And countries’ current policies put warming closer to 3 C (5.4 F), the U.N.‘s Emissions Gap Report shows.
Those temperature difference might seem minor, but the accumulated global benefits of limiting warming to 1.5 C (2.7 F) rather than 2 C (3.6 F) could exceed US$20 trillion.