IPCC: Report makes case for more ambitious global climate pact

Katie Ramirez
October 10, 2018

The dramatic report warned that the planet is now heading to warm by 3C - and to slash that to less than 1.5C as laid out in the Paris agreement will require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5ºC or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Where Has The Warning Come From?

A landmark United Nations report on Monday warned that sufficiently limiting man-made global warming will "require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society" in order to avoid dramatic global consequences, including rising sea levels, dying coral reefs and human casualties due to extreme heat.

Is It A Big Deal?

To limit warming, report authors claim significant actions must be taken to change land use practices, transform the energy sector and curb industry emissions.

More than ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries contributed to the findings which were launched in Incheon in South Korea on October 8 in front of all 195 signed on parties of the Paris Agreement.

It furthers the Paris Agreement of 2015, where and aim of limiting global temperature rises to "well below" 2C was set.

Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today said India did not wait for any report to realise that climate change posed a threat and made all efforts to combat global warming.

"The next few years are probably the most important in our history", said Debra Roberts, an IPCC co-chair. Human-produced Carbon dioxide emissions would have to drop by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" by 2050, according to the report. The report recommends that renewable energy supplies between 70 and 85 per cent of electricity globally by 2050.

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The only regulations introduced by the former government involved coal-fired power plants.

In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the report recommended carbon dioxide removal measures - including planting new trees and carbon capture and storage, a process by which carbon dioxide is trapped and prevented from entering the atmosphere.

A landmark report by the United Nations has warned that the world has just 12 years to halt global warming.

She said Canadians do not need to change what they do to cut emissions, but rather need to change how they do it. But several studies conclude that India is vulnerable to climate change impacts. Global sea levels rose 17cm in the 20th century. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius.

The IPCC warns, however, there is a stark difference between 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming. "Small island states, Mediterranean region and also Sub-Saharan Africa, which are already suffering and will suffer the most in the future". But getting rid of soot helps combat not just warming but also air pollution, as the particles are one of the leading causes of ill-health from environmental factors.

What Has Been The Reaction So Far?

The IPCC said if global warming could be limited to 1.5C, then the world would have a fighting chance of avoiding catastrophic problems, including the inundation of coastal cities such as Perth and mass extinctions of animals and insects.

Developing nations and least developed countries have been asking developed nations, particularly the USA, to take historical and moral responsibility for being one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters. We shall wait and see how much of the world takes up the challenge. Instead, Trump has advocated for more coal energy and loosened regulations on vehicle emissions. But a lower temperature increase would allow humanity more precious time with which to adapt to the adverse conditions presented by climate change.

The UK already has a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

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