Time Is Running Out To Control Climate Change, U.N. Report Says

10 Octobre, 2018, 03:35 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaigner Walton Li said Hong Kong possessed one of the largest carbon footprints in the world and had a responsibility to "radically" revise its emissions strategy.

The U.N. report may heighten pressure on governments to adopt tougher policies.

The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 °C, compared with at least once per decade with 2 °C. But if warming stops at 2 degrees, more than 99% of reefs could disappear.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, requested by governments, was issued ahead of a United Nations conference in December in Poland that will consider how to increase country ambitions to cut emissions and manage climate risks better. "And there are tremendous benefits in limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius in terms of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development".

Average global temperatures have already soared by an average of 1 degree since the start of the 20th century. It is based on more than 6,000 scientific references and contributions from thousands of experts and government reviewers around the world.

Keeping the 1.5C target would keep the global sea level rise 0.1 metre lower by 2100 than a 2C target, the report states. The 1.5C cap was set out past year in the worldwide Paris Agreement. It says it shows that global warming already has topped one degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. He likened the report to an academic exercise wondering what would happen if a frog had wings. "They want Canberra to fix it. Canberra has the power to do that", he said.

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5º C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes", said Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of IPCC Working Group II.

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The Council today adopted conclusions on climate change which emphasise the unprecedented urgency which is needed to step up global efforts to avoid the unsafe effects of climate change.

"We have a monumental task in front of us, but it is not impossible", Mahowald said earlier.

They would require "rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems", according to the report. The new report notes that reaching net zero by 2050 will likely require a certain amount of "negative emissions"-using vegetation or other forms of technology to suck carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere". In their conclusions, environment ministers recall the progress made in recent months by the European Union on legislation which delivers on its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Switching away rapidly from fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to do this could be more expensive than the less ambitious goal, but it would clean the air of other pollutants.

But no matter how many warnings we receive - and let's be honest, at this point we have had far too many - no one is willing to put their foot down and pump the brakes.

Meeting the tougher-to-reach goal "could result in around 420 million fewer people being frequently exposed to extreme heat waves, and about 65 million fewer people being exposed to exceptional heat waves", the report said. The IPCC report makes it clear that the time for talking is over - this is literally a matter of life and death. Coral reefs would have a chance to survive.

The summary backed the use of carbon pricing, and said governments needed to make a decisive shift towards renewable energy.

Changing course will take leadership, such as we have seen in the United States from Governor Brown and the cities and states in his coalition, and from key heads of state such as China's President Xi and India's Prime Minister Modi, as well as France's President Macron.

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