Making Efforts To Combat Climate Change: Harsh Vardhan On UN Report

UN report warns of possible climate disaster by 2040

A morbid United Nations' report on climate change has given policymakers an inside look into what could be a catastrophic climate crisis by as soon as 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.

Further, "t$3 he decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future, said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II".

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.

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.

Coral reefs will also be drastically effected, with between 70 and 90 per cent expected to die off, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

To give you a sense of what's at stake, here are five of the most disturbing facts and predictions to come from the newly published report.

"Many parts of the world will see mean temperature increases that, in time, will be higher than 1.5°C, including the South West of Western Australia", Dr Kala said.

The report will provide the framework of discussion for the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

Here are some of the key statistics raised in the report.

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Carbon emissions need to reach "net zero" by 2050 and almost halve from 2010 levels by 2030. Any additional carbon dioxide emissions would require removing the harmful gas from the air.

Their concerns meant a pledge to pursue efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5C was included - after tough negotiations - alongside the commitment to keep them "well below" 2C in the global Paris climate agreement in 2015. "But doing so would require unprecedented changes".

Many in Trump's Republican party are self-described climate change sceptics, questioning whether the overwhelming consensus of scientists around the world about manmade causes for ever-rising temperatures is accurate.

The report found that the world is already experiencing the impacts of rapid and unequivocal global warming such as the decline of coral reefs, sea level rise, Arctic sea ice loss, decreasing biodiversity, declining crop yields, more frequent heatwaves and droughts in some regions, and heavy rainfall events in others.

- It will require a huge ramp-up in renewables so they generate 70-85% of electricity supplies by 2050, while coal power's share of the mix tumbles to nearly nothing.

The report explains why it's so important that we meet the 1.5 degree target, and how hard that will be to accomplish.

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

The IPCC report said, "At +1.5 degrees Celsius, twice as many mega cities as present such as Lagos in Nigeria and Shanghai in China are likely to become heat stressed, potentially exposing more than 350 million more people to deadly heat stress by 2050".

McKibben believes the odds of governments taking action in the wake of this report are slim.

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