U.N. report projects 3% increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

The U.N.'s Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record found that greenhouse gas emissions in 2023 are projected to increase 3%. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Global greenhouse gas emissions remain far above levels required to meet goals set by the Paris Agreement, the United Nations reported Monday.

The U.N.'s Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record found that greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 3% in 2030. The prediction shows improvement from the 16% increase projected at the time the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. But emissions remain far above the level needed to meet goals for limiting global temperature increases.

"Humanity is breaking all the wrong records on climate change," Inger Andersen, undersecretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said in remarks prepared for the launch of the report in Nairobi, Kenya. "Greenhouse gas emissions and global average temperature are hitting new highs, while extreme weather events are occurring more often, developing faster and becoming more intense."

She called for a "massive and urgent shift" to limit global temperature rise.

"Change must come faster in the form of economy-wide, low-carbon development transformation, with a strong focus on energy," Andersen said.

Predicted greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 28% to meet the Paris Agreement's pathway to limit global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and 42% for a 1.5-degree increase, according to the report.

"We are already at the outer limits of the possibility for 1.5 degrees Celsuis, with only a 14% chance of avoiding overshoot in even the most optimistic scenario," Andersen said.

Under climate change pledges for 2030, the world is currently on track for temperature increases of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees this century.

"Governments can't keep pledging to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement and then greenlighting huge fossil fuels projects," Andersen said. "This is throwing the global energy transition, and humanity's future, into question."

According to the report, even more aggressive measures will be needed in the 2030s.

"Essentially, the longer we wait, the harder it's going to be," Andersen said. "The world needs to lift the needle out of the groove of insufficient action and begin setting new records on cutting emissions, green and just transitions and climate finance -- starting now."

The European Union's climate service said 2023 is on track to be Earth's warmest year ever.

A recent report by London-based research center InfluenceMap found that the majority of the world's largest companies consistently lobbied against global climate efforts, while publicly claiming to support the Paris Agreement.

Global efforts will be discussed during COP28 climate conference set begin in Dubai on Nov. 28.