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Stark warning says we have a decade to avoid catastrophic climate change

10 October 2018

The report outlined the changes they believe need to be made for the temperature rise to be limited to 1.5ºC "The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to1.5ºC are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate", said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.

"India and many other countries are already facing impact of 1 degree celsius of global warming".

"The US is pretty much on target to reach its (climate) targets at least in the short-term - the market is driving this", said McCarthy, who ran the EPA under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, from 2013 to 2017.

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 °C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

The authors of the study estimate that updating the global energy system would require an annual investment of $2.4 trillion between 2016 and 2035.

If we fail to meet this objective and global temperatures rise by even a mere half a degree Celsius more to 2°C (3.6°F), the effects on our planet are expected to be devastating.

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Written by 91 authors and review editors from 40 countries, the report also features 133 contributing authors, over 6,000 scientific references and was subject to 42,001 expert and government review comments before publication.

Johnny Chan Chung-leung, director of City University's Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, said laws - rather than targets - that mandated a certain ratio of renewables in the power mix by a certain date were also necessary.

This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing Carbon dioxide from the air.

Two decades. That's all the time world leaders have to reverse emissions of greenhouse gases to avoid inundating coastal cities, killing off coral reefs and their attendant marine wildlife, and potential food shortages, according to a new United Nations report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC warns, however, there is a stark difference between 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming.

That could reduce flooding and give the people that inhabit the world's coasts, islands and river deltas time to adapt to climate change. Problematically, the effectiveness of the negative emissions techniques that would be relied upon in such a scenario is unproven on a large scale. "The next few years are probably the most important in our history", she said. "What we've done is said what the world needs to do".

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"Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming" the report said, adding that the world's poor are more likely to get hit hardest.

This one-two punch poses a powerful call to action: maybe the combination of messages can motivate change where the consensus of 97% of global climate change research scientists has failed to achieve action in line with the Paris Accord.

The IPCC special report makes it clear that while there are trade-offs between aggressive climate action and developmental goals, there are synergies as well.

A new assessment published by the UN's climate change panel yesterday had some striking words of warning to the global population, particularly when it comes to the limiting of global warming by a further 0.5°C than what had initially been mentioned back in December 2015.

While more than 180 countries have accepted the report's summary, the USA (which is the second biggest emitter in the world) said that their acceptance of the report does not "imply endorsement" of the findings.

Measures would have to include reducing man-made carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 from 2010 levels, and reaching "net zero" emissions by 2050, the report said.

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Stark warning says we have a decade to avoid catastrophic climate change