Scientists call for urgent action to limit climate change
Scientists call for urgent action to limit climate change
IPCC predicts climate disaster
12 October, 2018, 06:58
If the average global temperature temporarily exceeded 1.5C, additional carbon removal techniques would be required to return warming to below 1.5C by 2100.
The report, released in South Korea by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the world's economies must quickly reduce fossil fuel use while at the same time dramatically increasing use of clean, efficient energy.
The report, which was authored by 91 scientists and review editors from 40 countries, cites over 6,000 scientific references, and represents the work of thousands of experts and government employees.
"The world is already experiencing the deadly effects of global warming at 1C", chief executive Caoimhe de Barra said.
The IPPC report represents "sobering assessment of the challenge we face, and of the risks and costs of a warming planet", Caroline Theriault, a spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, said.
Current global temperatures have already increased by 1.0°C.
"Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds".
Another recent report from the consulting firm PwC makes it clear that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C will be a stretch: "There seems to be nearly zero chance of limiting warming to well below two degrees (the main goal of the Paris Agreement), though widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies, including Natural Climate Solutions, may make this possible", it says.
- To limit warming to 1.5C, net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050.
"Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.
Aiming to limit global warming at 1.5℃ is a mammoth task at hand, it requires a massive social transformation in the way we consume energy.
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But the report said the efficacy of measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, were unproven at a large scale and carried some risks.
"Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals".
"It's a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now", said Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the working group on impacts.
"Even if you don't believe in climate change, enough people, enough policymakers, enough companies are going to be reading this report and saying, 'We don't want to be in this world, '" Martin said.
The IPCC, an global consortium comprised of hundreds of climate change researchers assembled by the United Nations, said "the next few years are probably the most important in our history". To this end, research and Innovation will play a crucial role in our efforts to tackle climate change and the European Union will continue to lead in that domain.
As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.
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"Let's not forget that Australia accounts for just over one per cent of global emissions, so there are a lot bigger players than us out there impacting on these arrangements", he said.
The report says that "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented" societal changes were needed.
The consequences of a 2 degrees rise in global warming will be devastating scientists have warned.
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