Climate change: European Union sticks to Paris goals despite IPCC warning

Pablo Tucker
October 11, 2018

But to do that, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says, would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". In fact, the IPCC report says that we are ultimately heading towards 3 degrees Celsius.

Making an unprecedented call to action, the United Nations' climate panel said that to avoid catastrophe, all countries must change the way their people eat, commute, farm and build - and the changes must kick in right away.

The report, which encompasses more than 6,000 scientific references, has found that some of the most severe climate change scenarios could be felt at an even lower temperatures of global warming, occurring decades earlier than expected.

The UN-backed study said the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C.

The special report was requested by 195 nations when they adopted the Paris Agreement in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC.

"The reality is that we're very off track from where we need to be", says Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, who was not involved with the new report.

Some of the actions that would be required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius are already underway around the world.

At 1.5 degrees, the authors predict the Arctic Ocean will be free of sea ice once per century.

CSE said by refusing to endorse the findings of the IPCC's 1.5°C Report, the U.S. has again given a clear signal that it would continue with its "climate regressive agenda", which includes obstructing the work of the UNFCCC and promoting fossil fuels like coal and gas. People will have to change their energy use and even the foods they eat.

The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future, said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Labor and the Greens signalled that climate change was a likely election battleground. By 2050, the authors said that we would need to be producing nearly no Carbon dioxide emissions at a time which, on the outset, would challenge rapidly growing economies such as China and India.

Wired is a lot less diplomatic about the crisis: If we don't keep emissions at a steady 1.5 degree temperature rise in the next dozen years followed by going carbon-neutral by 2050, "the consequences will be disastrous".

Former Vice President Al Gore Jr. warned that "time is running out" after the release of a United Nations special report Sunday giving the world 12 years to head off climate calamity by radically transforming "all aspects of society". We also will need to rely on carbon removal-whether that's as low-tech as planting trees or using new technology like direct air capture that can suck CO2 from the atmosphere.

This report shows the longer we leave it to act, the more hard, the more expensive and the more unsafe it will be.

"The government (is) supportive of small business, of industry, of farms, and of coal mining", he said.

The Government and its climate advisers have been waiting for the findings of the report.

Back in 2017, President Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement, an environmental action accord signed by 195 nations to help stop climate change.

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