News

UN Climate Report: ‘It’s now or never’

It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5C warns the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.

Providing the scientific proof to back up that assessment, the report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed on by 195 countries – noted that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, have increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.

The report’s findings indicating harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster warns UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterres!

UN Secretary General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Mr Guterres insists that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.

His comments reflect the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.

According to the report greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025, and can be nearly halved this decade, to give the world a chance of limiting future heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

“This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5- limit” that was agreed in Paris in 2015!”

In an op-ed article penned for the Washington Post, Mr Guterres described the report as “a litany of broken climate promises”, which revealed a “yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality”.

He wrote that high-emitting governments and corporations, were not just turning a blind eye, “they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects.”

There is however some encouraging action being taken by many countries.

IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said: “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”

 

Whether humanity can change course after decades of inaction is largely a question of collective resolve, according to the report. ‘Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels — or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.’


READ MORE ON IPCC WEBSITE

Banner photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash