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UN publishes handbook for solutions to climate change

The report focuses on weaning the global economy off fossil fuels and transitioning to alternative energy sources

The report focuses on weaning the global economy off fossil fuels and transitioning to alternative energy sources.

UN climate experts are expected to release the definitive guide to halting global warming on Monday, in a report outlining how societies and economies need to transform to ensure a “livable” future.

As the war in Ukraine spurs an urgent rethink in the West on energy, analysts say the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will also be an important resource for nations seeking a rapid transition away from Russian oil and gas .

In recent months, the IPCC has released the first two parts of a trilogy of mammoth scientific assessments of how greenhouse gas pollution is warming the planet and what that means for life on earth.

This third report will set out what needs to be done about it.

But that response has far-reaching policy implications, as climate solutions touch virtually every aspect of modern life – and require significant investment.

In two weeks of grueling negotiations, nearly 200 nations have struggled to craft line by line a high-level “Summary for Policymakers” that distills the hundreds of pages of the underlying assessment.

This meeting was supposed to conclude on Friday but dragged on over the weekend. The IPCC assessment was originally scheduled to be released on Monday at 09:00 GMT but will now be released at 15:00 GMT.

One way to reduce energy consumption is to change the way people travel

One way to reduce energy consumption is to change the way people travel.

“Everyone has something to lose and everyone has something to gain,” said one person close to the process.

Simple answers are unlikely as the IPCC is expected to demonstrate the need for fundamental changes in energy production and industries, as well as in cities, transport and food systems.

To save the world from the worst ravages of climate change, the report also aims to warn that reducing carbon pollution is no longer enough.

And technologies that aren’t yet working at scale will need to be ramped up enormously to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.

A 1.5°C cap on global warming – the ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement – ​​has been adopted as a goal by most of the world’s nations.

So far, warming of barely 1.1°C has fueled a devastating wave of deadly extreme weather events around the world.

The cost of further warming is likely to be far greater than the price of reducing emissions

The cost of further warming is likely to be far greater than the price of reducing emissions.

Fossil fuels

UN chief Antonio Guterres warned last month that big economies are allowing carbon pollution to increase when drastic cuts are needed.

“We are sleepwalking to climate catastrophe,” he said.

In February, the IPCC report on the impacts and vulnerabilities of climate change past, present and future detailed what Guterres called an “atlas of human suffering.”

The report concluded that further delays in reducing carbon pollution and preparing for impacts already planned “will miss a short and rapidly closing window of opportunity to ensure a livable and sustainable future for all”.

Current national commitments to reduce carbon emissions still put the world on a disastrous path towards 2.7°C of warming by 2100.

“How much more destruction is there yet to see and how many more scientific reports will it take before governments finally acknowledge fossil fuels as the real culprits behind the human suffering felt around the world?” said Namrata Chowdhary of 350 .org

The burning of oil, gas and coal for energy is responsible for the lion's share of CO2 pollution

The burning of oil, gas and coal for energy is responsible for the lion’s share of CO2 pollution.

The report’s main focus is on weaning the global economy off fossil fuels and transitioning to low-carbon or zero-carbon energy sources, from solar and wind to nuclear, hydroelectric and hydrogen.

Contributing to this transition is the fact that renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuel energy in most markets.

The IPCC also outlines ways to reduce demand for oil, gas and coal, whether through more energy efficient buildings or by promoting lifestyle changes, such as living. For example, eating less beef and not flying halfway across the world for a vacation or business meeting.

Some fear the message will have been watered down amid intense political wrangling over the high-level summary of the policy.

“The climate crisis is accelerating and fossil fuels are the overriding cause. Any mitigation report that fails to emphasize this fact is a denial of the very science that the IPCC is committed to,” said Nikki Reisch of the Center for International Environmental Law.

The report’s findings will feed into the UN political negotiations, which will continue at COP 27 in Egypt in November.


Nations review 3,000-page handbook to mitigate climate crisis


© 2022 AFP

citation: UN to release handbook of climate change solutions (2022, April 4), retrieved April 4, 2022 from

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Russell Falcon

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