The world has the tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure a sustainable future if more ambitious measures are taken, says a United Nations report, which notes that the measures taken so far are not enough to tackle the growing address threats from climate change.
A UN panel of scientists stressed in a synthesis report Monday that there are multiple, viable and effective options for adapting to climate change.
“Mainstreaming effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce losses and damage to wildlife and people, it will also deliver wider benefits,” Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said in a statement. rack.
The report “underscores the urgency of more ambitious action and shows that if we act now, we can still secure a viable, sustainable future for all,” he added.
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The IPCC is a UN body that brings together leading scientists to review the evidence related to climate change and inform political leaders through periodic scientific reviews. The IPCC’s first major scientific input was provided in 2014, paving the way for the Paris Agreement – a historic international treaty on climate change – a year later.
Monday’s so-called synthesis report summarizes the findings of several previous IPCC assessments and comes after a week of deliberations in Interlaken, Switzerland.
The report states that CO2 emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Effective and equitable conservation of about 30-50 percent of the world’s land, fresh water and ocean will contribute to a healthy world, it added.
It is also essential to prioritize risk reduction for low-income and marginalized communities, read the report, highlighting the need to fund poorer countries most vulnerable to climate change despite emitting fewer greenhouse gases compared to industrialized countries.
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It said that from 2010-2020, human deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in regions highly vulnerable to climate change, compared to regions with very low vulnerability.
In 2018, the IPCC underlined that it is unprecedentedly difficult to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. But five years later, that “challenge has been compounded by a continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions,” the report said.
“The pace and scale of what has been done so far, and current plans, are insufficient to address climate change,” it added.
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‘Not all the bad news’
However, Peter Newman – a professor of sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and a coordinating author of previous UN climate reports – noted that it’s not all bad news as some real changes are taking place.
“Net zero funding from finance is reaching cities and regions in ways I have not seen before,” Newman told Al Jazeera, adding that in his 10 years at the IPCC he has never seen such an uptake of sustainable solutions. such as renewable batteries and electric vehicles.
“We should celebrate the fact that the opportunity is here now (to move away from fossil fuels), but at the same time (we should) recognize that it’s going to be a really big exercise to get the whole world on this path. ,” he said.
Helping developing countries cope with climate disasters was the focus of another major summit on climate change held in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh last November.
After two weeks of talks, nearly 200 countries at the COP27 conference agreed to create a “loss and damage” fund for developing countries to meet the costs of climate-related events. However, Newman noted that the countries have made no commitments to reduce dependence on fossil fuels – the main cause of global warming.
“This world needs to change quickly, from the developed world getting rid of that greenhouse gas and the developing world preparing for more disasters because there will be more,” Newman said.
The climate time bomb is ticking, but the last one @IPCC_CH report shows that we have the knowledge and resources to tackle the climate crisis.
We have to #Act now for a livable planet in the future.
— Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) March 20, 2023
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged rich countries to accelerate their efforts and try to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 rather than 2050 to “defuse the climate time bomb”.
“Humanity is on thin ice — and that ice is melting fast,” Guterres said in a video message following the release of the IPCC report.