The window of opportunity to achieve 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal is closing fast. The recent trends show that the gap between where we are and where we should be is not decreasing but widening. We are heading in the wrong direction. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C released in 2018 clearly indicates that a 45% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions from 2010 levels is required by 2030. However, emissions have contributed to increase, except in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a dramatic economic slowdown. Indications are that a rebound is very likely to happen, at least in short term.
What is at stage is the ability to avoid further irreversible warming with profound economic and humanitarian consequences. The most important variable to measure our effort is time. The coming nine years will clarify whether we can achieve the speed and scale of deployment necessary for a 45% emission reduction. The highest levels of ambition and effort are required to change course. It will not be easy, but we have no choice. While the path is daunting, several favorable elements can make it achievable.