The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its latest assessment of the physical science of global warming. It warns that countries must cut greenhouse gas emissions quickly and sharply, to avoid the most dangerous consequences of climate change. There is still time to limit average global warming to 1.5°C, but nations must act now.
The report makes it clear that we still have a choice: to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 and curb other greenhouse gases very fast. This could limit global warming to 1.5°C over the course of this century, and so limit the impacts of climate change on the environment and people. If we permit higher emissions, we may face a climate above 2°C in which many jobs, homes and infrastructure, food and water supplies are dangerously insecure.
The IPCC’s report is based on the review, by 234 authors, of more than 14,000 scientific publications. The Summary for Policy Makers has been approved by governments from around the world.
Today’s report ought to send political reverberations through the forthcoming global climate change talks, COP26, in Glasgow. The talks urgently need to be re-invigorated, after their Covid-related postponement from 2020. The report could provide the scientific impetus that is needed.
Our project partner CDKN, led by Mairi Dupar has summarized this report which is available here.