The current state of climate change remains a critical global issue, with recent reports highlighting increasing environmental, human, and economic tolls. The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) latest State of the Global Climate report emphasizes that the last eight years were the warmest on record, with a rise in sea levels and ocean warming reaching new highs. These changes have led to more drought, flooding, and heatwaves worldwide, severely impacting people’s lives and livelihoods.
WMO Secretary-General, Prof. Petteri Taalas, underlined that populations are gravely impacted by extreme weather and climate events. He pointed to continuous drought in East Africa, record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan, and heatwaves in China and Europe as examples of climate change’s far-reaching impacts. These events have caused tens of millions to suffer, driving food insecurity, boosting mass migration, and resulting in billions of dollars in losses and damage.
The World Resources Institute’s State of Climate Action 2023 report provides a comprehensive roadmap for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. It found that progress toward this target is not happening at the necessary pace and scale. A significant increase in global efforts is needed across sectors, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, scaling up carbon removal, and increasing climate finance. The report also notes that global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are currently failing, with 41 of 42 indicators assessed not on track to achieve their 2030 targets. Efforts such as ending public financing for fossil fuels and reducing deforestation have experienced setbacks. For instance, in 2021, public financing for fossil fuels nearly doubled from the previous year, and deforestation increased slightly worldwide.
However, there are some positive developments. The share of electric vehicles in passenger car sales has grown exponentially, increasing from 1.6% in 2018 to 10% in 2022. This growth rate puts this indicator on track for 2030. To further accelerate climate action, the report suggests several key steps, including increasing growth in solar and wind power, phasing out coal in electricity generation, expanding rapid transit infrastructure, and shifting to more sustainable diets.
These reports collectively highlight the urgent need for global action on climate change, emphasizing the importance of both mitigation and adaptation strategies to address the crisis effectively.