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Updates in Climate Science & International Policy

Asian local boys at large dry cracked landscape looking for water.

A Summary of Recent Research Findings & Useful Resources

In the lead up to COP 27, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, several reports were released to provide updates on the state of global climate action. COP 27 “seeks renewed solidarity between countries to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the plan.”

Results show that, to-date the level of actions have been well below what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 °C from a pre-industrial baseline. However, on the positive side, we are on track to stay below 3 °C of warming. This is a significant improvement on predictions from just a few years ago.

It is also estimated that if we are to rely only on current commitments, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to continue to rise, possibly peaking by the end of the decade, well beyond the 45% emissions reductions that are being called for. In fact, in both 2020 and 2021, concentrations of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – had record high year-over-year increases.

An immediate and urgent escalation in commitments and action is needed to establish a credible path to limit warming to 1.5 °C.

Canada’s poor performance on climate action has been highlighted at COP27 – the country ranked ‘very low’ at 58 out of 63 countries in the Climate Change Performance Index presented at COP27. You can track Canada’s climate action by sector in the new 440 Pathways Tracker which is based on Provincial and Federal policy.

More than ever, this demonstrates the critical role that cities, where the majority of people live, have and will continue to play in creating a world in which humanity lives equitably within the limits of our planet.

Leading cities are addressing the climate crisis by working with the Centre for Ecocities to understand and act on their consumption-based emissions. A consumption-based approach takes a global perspective by factoring in the emissions from products that have been imported into our communities. This is one important way that cities can take full responsibility for their contributions to global climate change and support meeting the needed escalation in commitments and actions.

Dry cracked landscape in front of a polluted city and forest.


Reports on the State Global Climate Action

Read more about the latest research in these reports and websites:

State of Climate Action 2022 [PDF]

2022 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report

Emissions Gap Report 2022

United in Science 2022

World Meteorological Organization, Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2022

440 Pathways Tracker

Policy Tracker (for Canada)


November 17, 2022
by Ryan Mackie