Science

United Nations climate change panel calls for rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes

United Nations climate change panel calls for rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes

Tweeting shortly after the report was launched, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it is not impossible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to the report. The world now pumps more than 40 billion tons of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year; the IPCC calls for that number to be cut by more than 1 billion tons per year over the next decade.

The report highlights climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared with 2ºC.

Limiting global warming to 1.5C will cost the world $2.4 trillion every year for the next two decades, the United Nations report warns. The lower level would mean the Arctic Ocean would be free of sea ice in summer only once per century not at least once a decade under the higher target.

The report suggests that coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all ( 99 percent) would be lost with 2ºC.

The summary also assessed the advantages of staying at 1.5°C versus achieving 2.0 °C and concluded that the cost of action was much lower than the cost of inaction.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.

According to the report, human-induced warming reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels in 2017.

With the timetable moved up, stemming that damage would require "unprecedented" economic changes - like, say, committing to the end of coal as an energy source. Problematically, the effectiveness of the negative emissions techniques that would be relied upon in such a scenario is unproven on a large scale.




"Limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius as against 2 degree Celsius can reduce the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050", the report said.

The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future, said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

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 feasibility of solar, wind and battery storage has improved significantly in recent years, which could signal the system is transforming, the report says.

The year 2030 is a short 11 years away, that was one takeaway for Alison Martin, group chief risk officer and a member of the executive committee at Zurich, which last month issued a report outlining how businesses should prepare for the physical consequences of a warming planet.

But President Trump has long-criticized climate change measures.

The landmark Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels".

Neither Premier Ford nor Mr. Kenney have yet said what policies they would employ to cut emissions, or whether they support Canada's objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 - a commitment made under the Paris accord.