NAIROBI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The global community must adopt radical measures to curb the emission of greenhouse gases and avert climatic shocks whose devastations could take years to repair, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said in a report released Monday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Launched ahead of the UN Climate Summit slated for Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, the report warns that temperature rise could intensify this decade, given the sluggish progress nations are making in cutting down carbon emissions as stipulated in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
The Emissions Gap Report 2023 projects a planet heading for a rise of 2.5 degrees to 2.9 degrees Celsius in temperature unless governments and industry rapidly shift to low-carbon development pathways.
The report also says that to avoid a worst-case scenario, including cascading extreme weather events, low-carbon lifestyles must become the norm.
According to the report, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 28 percent to 42 percent would enable countries to realize the goal of maintaining temperatures below 2 degrees to 1.5 degrees Celsius, respectively, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Inger Andersen, the UNEP's executive director, said that runaway greenhouse gas emissions were pushing the planet to the cliff, hence the urgency to reverse course through a deliberate shift to low-carbon economic development.
"Humanity is breaking all the wrong records when it comes to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions reached a new high in 2022. In September 2023, global average temperatures were 1.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels," Andersen said.
The UNEP report reveals that greenhouse gas emissions spiked by 1.2 percent from 2021 to 2022 to reach a record of 57.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The report says financial assistance to developing countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis will be crucial to enable them to accelerate low-emission growth which promises green jobs and poverty alleviation. Limiting the use of hydrocarbons combined with combating deforestation and poor land use practices will be key to reducing emissions of planet-warming gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, the report says. ■