What the new United Nations climate report tells us

Catherine McKenna

What the new United Nations climate report tells us

"Limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C means significantly decreased levels of food insecurity, water shortages, destruction of infrastructure, and displacement from sea-level rise and other impacts".

"EGU concurs with, and supports, the findings of the SR15 that action to curb the most unsafe consequences of human-induced climate change is urgent, of the utmost importance and the window of opportunity extremely limited".

If 1.5 degrees of warming does occur, Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, including countries like Japan, China, Egypt, and the US will experience increased flooding by 2040.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned on Monday in a new report that current levels of greenhouse gas emissions will increase the Earth's temperature by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius since 2030.

At around 1 degree of warming, the world is already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change, 1.5 would at least give us a chance at avoiding catastrophic tipping points, while well below 2 degrees is the less ambitious, higher risk threshold.

Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist, added: "The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate".

While our Pacific islands are small and face many challenges, we are strong in unity.

While warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels has widely been thought of as the threshold beyond which unsafe climate change will occur, vulnerable countries such as low-lying island states warn rises above 1.5C will threaten their survival. A warming greater than 1.5°C is therefore not geophysically unavoidable: "whether it will occur depends on future rates of emission reductions". The report acknowledged those changes would be hard and costly, but not impossible. "This is the message we will take to Katowice", the Commission said. "As a responsible risk officer, board member, shareholder, you need to think about that". That means, she said, electrifying everything. "There is no time to waste".

The IPCC report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid and far -reaching" transitions in all sectors.

EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas welcomed the report by the United Nations body, which provides policy-makers across the globe with a strong scientific basis for their efforts to modernise the economy, tackle climate change, promote sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

The IPCC report holds out hope that if the global climate warms more than the 1.5-degree, or even the 2-degree target, this "overshoot" could be reversed with carbon removal techniques. "We have a narrow window now to act if we are to protect God's creation for generations to come - as individuals, communities and as a global family". "It's about speed and scale now".

"Albopictus (principal vectors) or of the prevalence of dengue fever generally conclude there will be an increase in the number of mosquitoes and a larger geographic range at 2°C than at 1.5°C and beyond than at present, and suggest more individuals at risk of dengue fever, with regional differences", the report stated.

There are experimental methods now that can take Carbon dioxide directly out of the air, after which it could be buried.

One of the report's authors noted that limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics, but that doing so "would require unprecedented changes". And as an insurance regulator, that's what he says concerns him.

KING: May I ask how long is too long?

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