The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on Monday its latest report on assessing the state of global warming on Earth. We are rapidly approaching catastrophic levels of heating, scientists have found, and unless immediate and drastic action is taken, international climate goals will spiral out of control. – The climate time bomb is ticking. Humanity is treading on thin ice, and that ice is melting fast, said Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General.
The report published on Monday is based on the findings of hundreds of scientists, which is intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the development of the climate crisis on Earth. What is included in the report has been known to scientists for years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already identified this in a number of other reports over the past few years. He still has a very disturbing vision of where the world is headed.
Climate change. New IPCC report
“The climate time bomb is ticking,” said Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, in a statement marking the release of the report. “Humanity is treading on thin ice, and that ice is melting fast,” he added.
“This report is the most frightening and disturbing assessment of climate change,” said Sara Shaw, program coordinator at Friends of the Earth International. As we read in the report, the effects of actions causing the planet’s warming are already more serious than expected and we are heading towards increasingly dangerous and irreversible consequences.
While the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is still achievable, the report notes that the road to achieving it is fast closing as global production of planet-warming pollutants continues to rise – in Last year, emissions increased by almost one percent. The concentration of carbon pollutants in the atmosphere is at its highest level in more than two million years, and the rate of increase in temperature over the last half-century is the highest in two thousand years.
At the same time, scientists point out that the effects of the climate crisis continue to be felt most strongly by poorer, vulnerable countries that have contributed least to its creation.
Increased use of fossil fuels, lack of water
– Our planet is already experiencing severe climate impacts, from heatwaves and destructive thunderstormsto severe droughts and water shortages, Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the non-profit World Resources Institute, said in a statement.
The biggest threat to climate action is the world’s continued dependence on burning fossil fuels, which still account for more than 80 percent of the world’s energy and 75 percent of the man-made pollutants heating the planet.
On current trends, the planet is on track to warm by 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, and average temperatures could still rise by at least 2.2 degrees even if past commitments are met. Already, average temperatures are 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than in the years 1850-1900, which is causing an increase in extreme weather events around the world.
Monday’s report also sets out ways to help keep the world on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. “The IPCC report is both a strong condemnation of the inaction of major emitters and a solid blueprint for a much safer and fairer world,” added Dasgupta.
Preventing catastrophic climate change will require radical changes in every sector of the economy, according to the report. It also called for a deep reduction in the level of pollution that is causing the planet to warm, by moving away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy. It also highlighted the need for more investment to build resilience and increased financial support for those facing climate change-related losses, especially in the most vulnerable countries.
A call for “mass acceleration”
Guterres also called on all countries to “massively accelerate climate efforts” and in particular rich countries to activate the “accelerator button” for commitments to carbon neutrality – which means removing as much of the pollutants that heat plants from the atmosphere as they emit. He also said for the first time that developed countries must become carbon neutral by 2040, not 2050, which many countries – including the US and UK – have committed to.
“Today’s IPCC report is a guide to how to defuse the climate time bomb,” Guterres said. “But it will require a giant leap forward in climate action,” he added.
The report, which was signed over the weekend by representatives of nearly 200 UN countries, will be used at the next UN climate conference, COP28, which will take place later this year in Dubai. The conference will cover the first “global stocktaking” of the Paris climate agreement, assessing progress towards resolving the climate crisis, as well as efforts to prevent a climate catastrophe.
CNN, Reuters, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Shutterstock