Global transformation to a low-carbon economy requires at least $4-6 trillion a year: UNEP | India News


NEW DELHI: A day after the UN climate change body flagged inadequacy of combined existing pledges of countries to achieve desired goal of limiting global warming, another UN agency on Thursday endorsed the concerns while looking at gaps in required actions, and said a global transformation to a low-carbon economy is expected to require investments of at least $4-6 trillion a year.
The point on huge cost of transformation assumes significance in view of the failure of developed countries in even mobilising the promised amount of $100 billion per year to help developing countries meet their climate action cost. The issue is expected to be raised in a big way at the upcoming 27th session of the UN climate conference (COP27) at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt during November 6-18.
Flagging huge gap in collective action, its report noted that the countries’ new and updated climate action targets – nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – submitted since COP 26 (November, 2021) reduce projected global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2030 by only 0.5 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e), which is less than 1% of the projected emissions, whereas these percentages must reach 30% and 45% to get on a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2 degree C and 1.5 degree C, respectively, by the end of the century.
The report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also pointed out the G20 members collectively are not on track to achieve their new or updated NDCs.
“Based on current policies scenario projections in independent studies, there is an implementation gap, defined as the difference between projected emissions under current policies and projected emissions under full implementation of the NDCs,” it said.
As far as India is concerned, the report – called Emission Gap Report 2022 – did not factor in the country’s updated NDC that was submitted in August. India is, however, the only G20 country that is on track to achieve its climate goals as per its first NDC which was submitted seven years ago.
On the temperature rise front, the report endorsed what the UN climate body flagged a day before and said the climate pledges leave the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.4-2.6 degree Celsius by the end of this century.
Underlining the concerns, it noted that the policies currently in place, without further strengthening, suggest a 2.8 degree C of global warming by the end of the century – a scenario which would be more hazardous in terms of extreme weather events and related crises across the globe.
“This report tells us in cold scientific terms what nature has been telling us, all year, through deadly floods, storms and raging fires. We have to stop filling our atmosphere with GHG, and stop doing it fast,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP.
Raising such concerns, the report suggested in detail how to deliver transformation to a low-carbon economy through action in the electricity supply, industry, transport and buildings sectors, and the food and financial systems.
On the need to have investments of at least $4-6 trillion a year, it said this was a relatively small (1.5-2%) share of total financial assets managed, but significant (20-28%) in terms of additional annual resources to be allocated.
“Most financial actors, despite stated intentions, have shown limited action on climate mitigation because of short-term interests, conflicting objectives and not recognizing climate risks adequately,” said the report.
On emission front, the report confirms earlier findings that the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented but short-lived reduction in global emissions. “Total global GHG emissions dropped 4.7% from 2019 to 2020. This decline was driven by a sharp decline in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry… However, CO2 emissions rebounded to 2019 levels in 2021, with global coal emissions exceeding 2019 levels. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions remained steady from 2019 to 2021, and fluorinated gases continued to surge,” said the report.


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