The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published a report warning that the world’s window to cap global warming at 1.5°C, established by the Paris climate agreement by 2030, is fast closing. The report stated that urgent, aggressive action must be taken to change the course. The report revealed that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half by the mid-2030s to have any hope of staying within the target. The report also revealed that fossil fuel usage over the past century has contributed to global temperatures rising 1.1°C since the start of the industrial era, and may climb even higher to 3.2°C by the end of this century, causing hazardous weather conditions, health risks, and food and water insecurity.
The IPCC report calls for countries to phase out coal, oil, and gas developments, as these industries are responsible for more than 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee appealed to nations to act now to “secure a livable sustainable future for all.”
The report, which was authored by more than 90 scientists worldwide, drew on years of earlier findings that studied the causes and consequences of climate change. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the IPCC report is a “survival guide for humanity” and that developed nations should commit to reaching net-zero emissions to 2040.
“Humanity is on thin ice — and that ice is melting fast,” he warned.
This is the sixth assessment published by the IPCC since its founding in 1988.
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