Jeff Masters Weather Blog

12 recently released reports that track the world’s progress on climate » Yale Climate Connections

Just in time for this year’s international climate meeting — the COP28 UN climate meeting in Dubai  — many agencies and organizations have published major reports about global efforts to address climate change.  

The United Nations Environment Program leads the way in this effort, publishing three different “gap” reports that track international progress (or regress) in curbing fossil fuel production, reducing emissions, and funding global efforts to adapt to climate change, especially in developing countries. 

More optimistically, this year’s World Energy Outlook, the annual report from the International Energy Agency, documents another year of significant growth in the investment in and deployment of renewable energies. 

Other annual reports, timed for the run-up to the fall COP meetings, include the State of Climate Action 2023, the Forest Declaration Assessment, and the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.  

November also saw the release of reports offering more widely spaced updates, including the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication-led survey of International Public Opinion on Climate Change and the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fifth National Climate Assessment.*

Rounding out the list are one-off reports from the National Adaptation Plan Global Network, Norway’s DNV, Oxfam, and UNICEF.

The descriptions of the reports are adapted from copy provided by the organizations that published them. PDFs for the reports can be downloaded for free from their websites; some, however, require prior registration.   

*Editor’s note: The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication is the publisher of this site. 

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Adaptation Gap Report 2023: Underfinanced, Underprepared: Inadequate Investment and Planning on Climate Adaptation Leaves World Exposed by Adaptation Steering Committee (UNEP 2023, 112 pages, free download available)

In 2023, temperature records toppled, while storms, floods, droughts and heat waves caused devastation. UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2023: Underfinanced. Underprepared – Inadequate investment and planning on climate adaptation leaves world exposed finds that progress on climate adaptation is slowing when it should be accelerating to catch up with these rising climate change impacts. 

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Production Gap Report 2023: Phasing Down or Phasing Up? Top Fossil Fuel Producers Plan Even More Extraction Despite Climate Promises by Production Steering Committee (UNEP 2023, 126 pages, free download available)

UNEP’s Production Gap Report 2023: Phasing down or phasing up? Top fossil fuel producers plan even more extraction despite climate promises” finds that governments plan to producearound 110% morefossil fuelsin 2030than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C,and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.

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Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record: Temperatures Hit New Highs, Yet World Fails to Cut Emissions (Again) by Emissions Steering Committee (UNEP 2023, 108 pages, free download available)

Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record – Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again) finds that the world is heading for a temperature rise far above the Paris Agreement goals unless countries deliver more than they have promised. This is the 14th edition in a series that brings together the world’s top climate scientists to look at future trends and potential solutions to the challenge of global warming.

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World Energy Outlook 2023 by Laura Cozzi and Tim Gould et al (International Energy Agency 2023, 335 pages, free download available)

This flagship publication of the International Energy Agency is the energy world’s most authoritative source of analysis and projections. Published each year since 1998, its objective data and dispassionate analysis provide critical insights into global energy supply and demand in different scenarios and the implications for energy security, climate change goals and economic development.

Book cover with a picture of people moving a solar panel.

Fifth National Climate Assessment: Report-in-Brief by A.R. Crimins et al (US Global Change Research Program 2023, 144 pages, free download available

The US Global Change Research Program is required to deliver a report to Congress and the President not less frequently than every four years. By design, much of the development of NCA5 built upon the approaches used to create the Fourth National Climate Assessment with a goal of continuously advancing an inclusive, diverse, and sustained process for assessing and communicating scientific knowledge on the impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities associated with a changing global climate. 

Editor’s Note: Only the “Report-in-Brief” and shorter “Overview” are currently available  on the US GCRP website. The full report is “coming soon.” 

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International Public Opinion on Climate Change 2023 by A. Leiserowitz et al (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 68 pages, free download available)

This report presents results from an international survey, conducted in partnership with Data for Good at Meta and Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, that investigated public climate change knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and behavior among Facebook users. The survey collected responses from 139,136 Facebook monthly active users (18+). Responses were collected from 187 countries and territories worldwide, including 107 individual countries. Interview dates: Aug. 3 – Sept. 3, 2023.

book cover with a photo of melting ice

State of Climate Action 2023 by S. Boehm et al (Systems Change Lab 2023, 244 pages, free download available

The State of Climate Action 2023 provides the world’s most comprehensive road map of how to close the gap in climate action across sectors to limit global warming to 1.5°C. It finds that recent progress toward 1.5°C-aligned targets isn’t happening at the pace and scale necessary and highlights where action must urgently accelerate this decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scale up carbon removal and increase climate finance.

book cover with a photo of women carrying plants across a river.

Public Engagement on Climate Change Adaptation: A Briefing for Developing Country National Adaptation Plan Teams by C. Ledwell et al (NAP Global Network and Climate Outreach 2023, 58 pages, free download available

Public engagement is critical to the long-term success of efforts to build climate resilience through national adaptation plan (NAP) processes. Building public support will be crucial for the adaptation actions prioritized through the NAP process. This report, jointly prepared by Climate Outreach and the NAP Global Network, provides an introduction to public engagement on climate change adaptation; its primary intended audience is decision-makers involved in leading NAP processes in developing countries.

Report cover with a photo of a child

Children Displaced in a Changing Climate: Preparing for a Future Already Underway by V. Knaus et al (UNICEF 2023, 61 pages, free download available

Displacement can multiply climate-related risks for children and their families. In the aftermath of a disaster, children may become separated from their caregivers, amplifying the risks of exploitation or abuse. Displacement can also disrupt access to education and health care, exposing children to malnutrition, disease, and inadequate immunization. This report notes that there were 43.1 million internal displacements of children linked to weather-related disasters over a six-year period. 

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Off Track and Falling Behind: Tracking Progress on 2030 Forest Goals by F. Haupt et al (Forest Declaration Assessment 2023, 154 pages, free download available

The forest ecosystems that support a livable climate, invaluable biodiversity, thriving economies, and intangible cultural importance remain under massive pressure. Standing forests are essential for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Yet, the world remains off track to reach the goals of halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation by 2030. In 2022, global gross deforestation reached 6.6 million hectares worldwide.  

Book cover with a photo of wind turbines and a kid on the shoulders of an adult.

Pathway to Net Zero Emissions: Energy Transition Outlook 2023 by The Project Team (DNV 2023, 52 pages, free download with registration)

Whilst our Energy Transition Outlook, which is DNV’s best estimate of how the energy transition is likely to unfold over the next 30 years, points to a 2.2°C warmer planet, the Pathway report offers a feasible way to close the gap to 1.5°C. There is no doubt that reaching net zero by 2050 is less and less likely, especially as global emissions are still increasing. However, the report concludes that it is not only technically and politically feasible, it is also affordable.

Editor’s note: Energy Transition Mythbusters, recently released by The Transnational Institute, challenges six harmful but influential energy transition myths.

Report cover with a photo and a red and green design.

Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99% by A. Khalfan et al (Oxfam 2023, 136 pages, free download available

The world faces twin crises of climate breakdown and runaway inequality. If no action is taken, the richest will continue to burn through the carbon we have left to use while keeping the global temperature below the safe limit of 1.5°C, destroying any chance of ending poverty and ensuring equality. The world needs a makeover. Only a radical reduction in inequality, transformative climate action and fundamentally shifting our economic goals as a society can save our planet while ensuring well-being for all.

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