Damage to the world’s climate will be irrevocable if we do not act now – and act drastically. That is the stern and humbling message of the IPCC’s final report. Some are calling it the last possible warning to avert a deadly global scenario before it is too late.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is made up of countless leading climate scientists from around the world. For eight years, they have worked on a world-view report into the climate crisis, with their findings – and warnings – widely acknowledged at the highest levels.
This newly released sixth part in the report contains the most sobering facts and language yet. The report says we are now at a crucial point; the chance of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions could be slipping through our fingers.
Temperatures are now at 1.1C according to the IPCC, so while there is still hope of staying within 1.5C, “the report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all”, explained Hoesung Lee, the chair of the IPCC.
“This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe,” said the UN secretary general, António Guterres. “Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”
Guterres also called on the world’s wealthiest nations to rapidly speed up their attempts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions “as close as possible to 2040” instead of the 2050 most have announced.
“The climate timebomb is ticking,” he said. “But today’s report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate timebomb. It is a survival guide for humanity. As it shows, the 1.5C limit is achievable.”
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Photo source: Christ LeBoutillier for Unsplash