It’s intended as a guide for policymakers who are aiming to limit temperature rise to the target 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The IPCC report was timed to feed into the December UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, where world leaders will be under pressure to ramp up national carbon-cutting pledges which – even if fulfilled – would yield a 3C world.
The Nobel Prize-winning organisation said that the world was well off track in its goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5ºC and heading for 2ºC or more. At 1.5 degrees, fewer species would go extinct. The problem with even a slight shift in goals is that the scientific work done in advance of the worldwide talks hadn’t provided results for a 1.5°C scenario.
This report shows the longer we leave it to act, the more hard, the more expensive and the more unsafe it will be. One of the reasons for this variation is that the future deployment of nuclear can be constrained by societal preferences assumed in narratives underlying the pathways. Storms, flooding and drought would exact an even higher toll.
The most ambitious would see a radical drawdown in energy consumption coupled with a rapid shift away from fossil fuels and a swift decline in Carbon dioxide emissions starting in 2020.
“Such differences in perception explain why the 2011 Fukushima incident resulted in a confirmation or acceleration of phasing out nuclear energy in five countries while 30 other countries have continued using nuclear energy, amongst which 13 are building new nuclear capacity including China, India and the United Kingdom”, it adds. Governments would have to increase renewable energy sources like solar and wind technology from 20 to around 67 percent, and reduce coal as an energy source from 40 percent to between 1 and 7 percent.
Society would have to enact “unprecedented” changes to how it consumes energy, travels and builds to meet a lower global warming target or it risks increases in heat waves, flood-causing storms and the chances of drought in some regions as well as the loss of species, a United Nations report said on Monday.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a landmark report on Monday that laid out the potential effects of rising global temperatures on both the environment and society.
If the world did find the political and personal will to pull together and put in that kind of effort, the report shows that those actions would benefit more than just the climate. Per the IPCC – a collection of top climate scientists – the planet has about 12 years left to massively cut carbon emissions to ensure temperatures rise only 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.
But really whacky ideas, such as blocking out the Sun, or adding iron to the oceans have been dismissed by this IPCC report.
“Scientists are increasingly aware that every half degree of warming matters”, Chris Weber, WWF’s global climate and energy lead scientist, said in a statement.
The CEO noted that the report is very clear in its confirmation that wide-ranging impacts of climate change will be much worse at 2° of warming than at 1.5°.
“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. “Human-induced warming has already reached about 1°C (1.8°F) above pre-industrial levels at the time of writing of this Special Report”.
Yet report authors said they remain optimistic. The risk to fisheries would be lower.
At the same time, however, the Liberals are supporting major projects that will increase Canada’s capacity to export oil and gas for decades, including expansion of the Trans Mountain crude pipeline and construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Kitimat, B.C. “There’s certainly things that we’ll need to invest in more to develop the next generation of solutions”.
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.
The summary backed the use of carbon pricing, and said governments needed to make a decisive shift towards renewable energy. Carbon capture and storage may help to some extent, but this infrastructure runs the risk of locking us into a fossil fuel-based system.