The time for climate change action is now

Global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, and it will take immense efforts to limit the warming of our planet. A new UN climate report concludes that we need more climate action and faster.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published a report that shows in clear terms how challenging it will be to achieve our climate goals. In 2010-2019, global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history. Even if countries achieve the emissions reductions they have committed to by 2030, it is likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C.

‘We need to accept just how challenging it’s going to be to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. But at the same time, we know more every day about which solutions are available to that end. Addressing this challenge must basically be the task that defines our generation,’ says Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Espen Barth Eide.

Climate policy works

The IPCC’s reports are the most recognised source of knowledge on the global climate challenges we are facing. The third instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report was launched on 4 April. The report describes potential action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from different sectors and enhance carbon uptake and storage. It also details synergies and how to strike a balance between emissions reductions and climate adaptation, as well as positive and negative effects on achieving other Sustainable Development Goals.

‘The report shows that climate policy works and that it is becoming cheaper to implement. The world has made huge advances in low-emission technology and infrastructure. This has led to a substantial price drop in batteries and renewable energy. It is cheaper in many parts of the world to build and use solar energy than to continue using fully paid-off coal power plants. This gives us hope,’ says Espen Barth Eide.

Clean energy beyond Norway’s borders

Achieving our global climate goals rests on international aid policy that helps countries to transition from a mix of fossil energy to renewable energy. In line with the Hurdal Platform, the Government will prioritise renewable energy and make clean energy a main priority area in Norwegian development policy.

‘We will double annual climate funding from NOK 7 billion in 2020 to NOK 14 billion per year from, at the latest, 2026. We have also established a new climate investment fund managed by Norfund. The fund will contribute financing to increase renewable energy development, particularly in the countries with the highest emissions. NOK 10 billion will be transferred to the fund in instalments of 2 billion per year over 5 years. The first investment has already been announced,’ says Eide.