In response to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UN Secretary General stressed that unless governments everywhere re-evaluate their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.
His comments reflect the IPCC’s determination that all countries must significantly reduce their use of fossil fuels, expand access to electricity, improve energy efficiency and increase energy efficiency. increased use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.
Mr Guterres said in a video message that unless action is taken soon, several major cities will be submerged, predicting “unprecedented heat waves, devastating storms, water shortages widespread and the extinction of one million species of flora and fauna”.
The UN chief added: “This is not fiction or exaggeration. That’s what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on the path to global warming more than double the 1.5-degree limit (degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)“Agreed in Paris in 2015.
Providing scientific evidence to back up that damning assessment, the IPCC report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed by 195 countries – notes that greenhouse gas emissions due to Man-made activity, has increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.
One The increasing rate of emissions can be attributed to towns and citiesThe report’s authors continue, adding that it is worrying that the reduction in emissions that have fallen over the past decade or so is “less than the increase in emissions due to increased levels of global activity in industry. , providing energy, transportation, agriculture and buildings”.
Marking a more positive note – and emphasizing that emissions can still be halved by 2030 – the IPCC called on governments to step up action to limit emissions.
The UN agency also welcomes the significant reduction in the cost of renewable energy sources since 2010, by 85% for solar and wind power, and batteries.
Encourage action for the climate
“We are at a crossroads. IPCC President Hoesung Lee said. “I am encouraged by the climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are working. If these are scaled up and adopted more widely and equitably, they can support deep emission reductions and stimulate innovation.”
To limit global warming to around 1.5°C (2.7°F), the IPCC report highlights that global greenhouse gas emissions will have to peak “at the latest.” 2025 and 43% reduction by 2030”.
The report’s authors go on to add that even if this is achieved, it is “virtually inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold”, although the world “may return to a comeback” below the end-of-century temperature threshold.
Now or never
“Now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F); Without immediate and profound emissions reductions across all sectors, it would not be possible“Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, who published the latest report, said.
Global temperatures will stabilize once carbon dioxide emissions reach zero. For 1.5C (2.7F), this means achieving net zero global carbon dioxide emissions by the early 2050s; for 2C (3.6°F), which is in the early 2070s, the IPCC report said.
“This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2C (3.6F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2025 and fall by a quarter by 2030. ”
IPCC assessments are important because they provide governments with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies.
They also play an important role in international negotiations to tackle climate change.
Among the sustainability and emission containment solutions that governments offer, the IPCC report highlights that rethinking how cities and other metropolitan areas function in the future can help reduce emissions. significantly the worst impacts of climate change.
These (reductions) can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), vehicle electrification, and so on. combined with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon sequestration and storage by nature,” the report suggested. “There are many options for new, fast-growing and established cities,” it said.
Recalling that message, IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair, Priyadarshi Shukla, stressed that “the right policies, infrastructure and technology… to enable it changes to our lifestyle and behavior, which can lead to a 40 to 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “Evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”
© UNICEF / Sebastian Rich