UN scientists say limiting global warming is "now or never." Is there hope?
The United Nations (UN) body Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned about a well-known threat to the world, climate change, and pointed out a solution in its latest report.
At 3,675 pages, The IPCC Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report, approved by 195 member governments of the IPCC, is a comprehensive report.
The report had some bad news to start with, climate change is nearing a point of no return, and global emissions must peak by 2025 for the chance to limit temperature increases to the 1.5C goal set out in the Paris Agreement. Global emissions must then fall by 43 percent by 2030, as well as a reduction in methane emissions of around 33 percent, from 2019 levels.
Get more updates on this story and more with The Blueprint, our daily newsletter: Sign up here for free.
The report highlights that between 2010 and 2019, greenhouse gas emissions were at the highest level in human history.
The report points out that even if all the carbon-cutting policies of the Paris Agreement promised by governments had been fully implemented by 2020, the world would still warm by 3°C more than double the 1.5°C limit agreed upon in 2015 at COP21 in Paris.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction. It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our well-being and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks,” explained Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.
We still have a chance
But it was stated in the report that clean and sustainable energy, such as solar and wind, and electric vehicles could help humanity to limit climate change, as we now have the technology to slash emissions by 2030.
The report suggests that costs of solar and wind energy have decreased up to 85 percent over 12 years. The addition of sharp decreases in electric vehicle and storage batteries gives us a solid chance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus save the planet from the point of no return.
Also, the increase in the policies of accelerating renewable energy sources, boosting energy, and tackling deforestation policies will help us in the fight against climate change.
“I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries, there are policies, regulations, and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation,” said Lee.
We haven’t been good to our home planet lately but there are still some things we can do to stop before reaching the point of no return or even restoring the damage.