Throughout 2018, extreme weather hit the headlines across the globe with droughts and wildfires in the UK to floods and typhoons in south-east Asia. The World Meteorological Organisation confirmed that last year was the fourth hottest on record, a clear signal that we are having an affect on global climate. As a result, droughts, floods, stronger storms and heatwaves, as well as sea levels, are all expected to increase.
2018 also gave us the starkest warning yet of our potential future if we allow climate change to take hold. This came in the form of a report from the International Panel on Climate Change and its leading scientists who produced a comprehensive overview of what the future will look like if we surpass the 1.5oC global temperature rise.
Following on from this, the UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland did not show signs that the urgency of scientist’s warnings had been heeded although, the ‘rulebook’ for putting the 2015 Paris Agreement into practice was agreed. This included how governments will measure, report on and verify their emission-cutting efforts. The ‘rulebook’ is still an important element of the conference as it will ensure that all countries are held to proper standards. This being said, the key question of how countries will step up their targets on cutting emissions was largely absent from these talks. In conclusion there were no firm commitments from countries to ramp up their national targets in line with scientific advice.
Source: The Guardian/ BBC