Published under the Systems Change Lab, this report is a joint effort of Bezos Earth Fund, Climate Action Tracker (an independent analytic group comprising Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute), ClimateWorks Foundation, the United Nations High-Level Climate Change Champions, and World Resources Institute.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires transforming almost all systems, from how we power our economy and build our cities to how we feed a growing population and manage our land.
But these transformations are not occurring nearly fast enough. This report provides an overview of how we are collectively doing in addressing the climate crisis by accelerating the systemwide transformations across power, buildings, industry, transport, forests and land, and food and agriculture, as well as the immediate scale-up of carbon dioxide removal technologies and climate finance. It assesses progress across 40 indicators of systems change and finds that none are on track to reach their 2030 targets.
Change is heading in the right direction at a promising but insufficient speed for 6 indicators, and in the right direction but well below the required pace for 21. Change in another 5 indicators is heading in the wrong direction entirely, and data are insufficient to evaluate the remaining 8.
Getting on track to achieve 2030 targets will require an enormous acceleration in effort. Unabated coal in electricity generation, for example, must be phased out six times faster than recent global rates. Improvements in cement production’s carbon intensity must increase much more quickly—by a factor of more than 10. And reductions in the annual deforestation rate must accelerate 2.5 times faster.
Although there are some signs of progress, the window to limit warming to 1.5°C is rapidly closing, with national 2030 climate commitments, even when fully implemented, leading to roughly 2.4°C to 2.8°C. To close this gap, this report identifies supportive measures that can advance action at the speed and scale required.
The transformations ahead can bring tremendous benefits, but they will not be easy. Accelerating just transitions will require greater, more inclusive efforts, substantially more finance, and careful evaluations of impacts on people as change unfolds.