Climate protection now or never: IPCC report

New Delhi: Without a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, it will not be possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, the United Nations Climate Science Panel stressed in a report published on Monday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the report as “a litany of broken climate promises”. The report focuses on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “It is an act of shame to catalog the empty promises that have set us firmly on the path to an uninhabitable world,” said the UN chief.

The report, the third in the sixth round of assessments by the United Nations climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first two reports of Round 6 provided an assessment of the physical basis of climate change and how it is significantly affecting the natural world and human well-being. “This report shows us that we are still not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Inger Andersen, director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can ensure a future worth living,” said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee at the release of the report Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change.

The report found that emissions have continued to increase over the past decade. Average annual global greenhouse gas emissions in the decade 2010-19 were at the highest levels in human history.

“We are on track for global warming to more than double the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris. Some government and business leaders say one thing – but do another. Put simply, they lie. And the results will be catastrophic,” Guterres said. The summary for policymakers, a document negotiated by member country officials and scientists, concludes that the world is on track to warming by 3.2 degrees without stronger policies.

“It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” said Jim Skea, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across sectors, it will be impossible.”

The report finds that the growth rate of emissions has slowed and there is evidence that the proliferation of policies and laws is having an impact.

“We have the tools and know-how needed to limit warming,” Lee said. The report describes how the world has the know-how to halve emissions by 2030.

Limiting global warming requires major changes in the energy sector. This includes significant reductions in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and the use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).

“If we have the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes in our lifestyle and behavior, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 40-70% by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla.

However, enabling the transition remains an issue.

“While there is evidence that international agreements such as the 2015 Paris Agreement are working to improve national goal setting, policy development and the transparency of interventions and support, there are significant shortcomings in the availability of support, which is increasingly the case for developing countries This makes it difficult to implement current commitments and adopt more ambitious national contributions over time,” said Lavanya Rajamani, Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Oxford and coordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on international cooperation.

Finance, particularly in developing countries, remains a challenge. Financial flows are three to six times below what is needed by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. Climate protection now or never: IPCC report

Russell Falcon

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