Climate warming – ‘it’s now or never’ warns IPCC report

Barry White

Speaking on the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: ImpactsAdaptation and Vulnerability, UN secretary general António Guterres said some governments and businesses were “lying” in claiming to be on track for 1.5C. In the strongly worded statement, he warned: “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.”

In the report released today, scientists warn that it was now or never to limit climate warming stating that that there must be “rapid, deep and immediate” cuts in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Global emissions of CO2 would need to peak within three years to stave off the worst impacts.  Even then, the world would also need technology to suck CO2 from the skies by mid-century. However, the technology to achieve this is new and currently very expensive.

The report warns that even if all the policies to cut carbon that governments had put in place by the end of 2020 were fully implemented, the world will still warm by 3.2C this century. The next few years are critical say the researchers, because if emissions aren’t curbed by 2030, it will make it nigh on impossible to limit warming later this century.

The good news is that the IPCC report shows that it can be done, in what Mr Guterres calls a “viable and financially sound manner.” To stay under 1.5C means that carbon emissions from everything that we do, buy, use or eat must peak by 2025, and tumble rapidly after that, reaching net-zero by the middle of this century.


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