In the lead-up to the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations (UN) has warned of the 3C global heating phenomenon.

The year 2023 has already witnessed previous temperature records shattered, resulting in deadly heatwaves, floods, and droughts on a global scale. A 1.4C temperature rise to date has impacted lives and livelihoods. Scientists predict more severe consequences if temperatures continue to rise.

A recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggests that promised future environment policies would only marginally reduce the 3C limit by 0.1C. Developing countries have pledged emissions cuts, but the implementation depends on financial and technical support.

The Unep report indicates the need to cut 22 billion tonnes of CO2 from the projected total in 2030 in order to achieve the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 1.5C. This reduction represents 42% of global emissions and is equivalent to the combined output of the world’s top five polluters.

Inger Andersen, the executive director of Unep, urges a departure from setting undesirable climate records and emphasizes the widespread impact of climate change.

UN Secretary-General Guterres described the increase toward a 3C temperature rise as a failure of leadership. Guterres highlights the affordability and accessibility of renewables, urging a shift away from fossil fuels to make the 1.5-degree limit a reality.

As COP28 approaches, Guterres calls on leaders to elevate their efforts with action, especially emission reductions. He urges countries to commit to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and establishing a clear timeframe for phasing out fossil fuels.

Acknowledging the recent climate agreement between China and the US, Guterres highlights the need for further action to rebuild trust between developed and developing nations, addressing previous failures in delivering promised climate aid.

The UN warns that fossil fuel producers’ expansion plans could exceed the planet’s carbon budget. A recent report highlights the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company, presiding over Cop28, as having the largest net-zero-busting expansion plans globally.

The UNEP report titled Broken Record suggests that achieving long-term pledges to reach net-zero emissions by around 2050 could limit global temperature rise to 2C. However, it questions the credibility of these pledges. None of the G20 countries are on track to meet their net-zero targets.

A report from UN Climate Change aligns closely with the Unep report. The current national emissions reduction pledges would fall short of the required 43% reduction needed to limit the predicted 3C global heating to 1.5C by 2030.