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State of Climate Action: Assessing Progress toward 2030 and 2050

“This report provides an overview of climate action to date and assesses global and country-level progress across benchmarks for six sectors that would limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) and therefore prevent its most dangerous impacts. We found that while advancements are happening within some sectors, for most the rate of change is much too slow for the world to achieve these goals.” "In this State of Climate Action report, the World Resources Institute and ClimateWorks Foundation ask how we are doing on this journey. It explores global and country-level progress across six key sectors—using 21 benchmark indicators developed by the Climate Action Tracker and WRI. In most cases progress is being made, but in only 2 cases out of 21 is the pace of progress enough. Sadly, in 2 cases we are headed in the wrong direction altogether, and in 4 cases there is simply not enough data to say where things stand. To get on track, the world must—among other actions—rapidly transition to clean electricity generation, accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, reduce emissions from industrial production, boost agricultural productivity, shift to more sustainable food consumption patterns, and increase annual tree cover gain. For these and other goals, the report specifies the much faster rate of progress needed to meet most of these global targets. None of these transitions is easy. They require not incremental change, but systems change that no individual actor can deliver. They require multistakeholder engagement of governments, corporations, citizens, financial institutions, philanthropy, and the scientific community. The good news is that in all these transformations, there is a path forward that makes good sense economically, socially, and politically, as well as environmentally. The report shows that these transitions are essential for developing and developed countries, but that developing countries will require significant financial investments, technology transfer, and capacity building to drive climate action. History has shown that transformative change can happen at an exponential, nonlinear rate; just look at how quickly cars, phones, and connected computers revolutionized our world. With the right support, low-emissions technologies such as electric vehicles, renewable energy, and low-carbon steel could be next."
Katie Lebling et al
World Resources Institute
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