UN Report on Climate Change — A Do or Die Situation
By IndraStra Global News Team
On October 8, 2018, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the biggest scientific body set up under the auspices of the United Nations, released its Special Report on impacts of global warming at 1.5°C; the report documents glaring evidence of the devastating impacts of climate change on the poor and on developing countries. It clearly outlines the impact of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and steps needed to contain warming at that level.
The IPCC’s previous report released in 2014, the Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report (AR5), called for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to zero by 2100 to limit the risk of irreversible damage from climate change. Also, the danger is not just from carbon dioxide but now also from methane, black carbon (soot) and other emissions, it says.
According to the latest report, we are at a tipping point on the edge of complete climate breakdown, and governments around the world are failing to prevent it. The report was prepared at the request of governments which signed the 2015 Paris Agreement. It has been prepared by 91 authors and review editors from 40 countries. More than 6,000 scientific references are cited, and there were 133 contributing authors. It also contains more than 42,000 expert and government review comments.
With inadequate climate efforts, global warming is projected to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. If global emissions continue as per the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, the carbon budget (the amount of CO2 that the world can emit) for 1.5°C warming will be exhausted by 2030. There is also a likelihood of the Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century not at least once a decade, and coral reefs would decline by 70–90 percent instead of being virtually wiped out. In order to limit warming at 1.5°C, the world will have to reduce CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030 from the 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Prior to the release of this report, a piece from last week by George Monbiot argues that unless we kick our addiction to economic growth we can not meet the challenge posed by the unfolding climate breakdown. To offset the negative outcomes of such economic growth, the countermeasures such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, had remained unproven at a large scale and carried some risks, it says.
Whether or not the goal is still attainable remains questionable after the United States pulled out of the agreement in June 2017, claiming it was unfair. Later, in April 2018, the Trump administration canceled NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) program which helped with the monitoring of CO2 emissions and deforestation in the U.S. and in other countries. Political analysts say it’s not clear whether any of them can replace the U.S. and the immense diplomatic machinery it commands when engaged on an issue such as “climate change”.