Leading scientists have released their most urgent call as they warn of dying coral reefs, melting sea ice and rising sea levels after meeting with government officials in South Korea. Urgent and dramatic actions will be needed from governments and individuals alike if global temperatures are to be kept from rising more than 1.5oC this century.
This new study produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides clear, scientific views of the causes, impacts and solutions to rising temperatures that governments can respond to. This report, which has taken almost three years to produce, will be crucial in guiding the development of economies over the next several decades.
Currently, the world’s global temperature has passed one degree of warming since the 1850s. For low-lying island states, this is potentially very worrying news with the very real threat of rising sea levels. According to some scientists, there is not enough time left to take the actions required to keep the world within the limit of 1.5oC. Alternatively, some believe this challenge is achievable if it is accepted by governments and so long as the world is willing to apply extremely tough measures. Either way, the conclusion of the report is that the effects of climate change will be far worse if the temperature increase is 2oC.
In response to the IPCC’s report on climate change, the UK government has requested further advice from the Committee for Climate Change which includes:
- Setting a date for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the economy
- Whether we need to raise our 2050 target of cutting emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels to meet international climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement
- How emissions reductions might be achieved across the economy
- The expected costs and benefits in comparison to current targets
Yet, just days after scientists have warned of the vital need of a global effort to move away from fossil fuels, the UK government has released details of plans to financially support the multi-million expansion of an oil refinery in Bahrain. The IPCC’s warning also comes only a few months after the Government gave the go-ahead for fracking, a move that takes the UK further away from greener energy.
The report explores many challenges and solutions of keeping temperatures down including intensification of cuts to CO2 emissions, rapid moves to renewable energy and the deployment of technologies to remove greenhouse gases from the air. There is no easy answer however, with the projected population rise, it is understood that if temperature rising is to stay under 1.5oC then life as we know it will be ultimately different.
Source: The Independent