'Unprecedented changes' needed to protect Earth from global warming

'Unprecedented changes' needed to protect Earth from global warming

The report released by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that there is a little over a decade left for global warming to be kept at a maximum of 1.5℃, beyond which even a half a degree increase will worsen climactic conditions across the globe and affect human health.

This report provides us further science to support our calls for action on the global stage.

It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

Countries in the southern hemisphere will be among the worse off, the report said.

Those most vulnerable to the effects of global warming of more than 1.5ºC are the world's poorest people, who have done the least to create this crisis.

By the end of the century, if warming stops at 1.5 degrees, the sea level rise may be almost four inches lower than if it stops at 2 degrees.

The report summary said renewable energy would need to supply 70 per cent to 85 per cent of electricity by 2050 to stay within a 1.5C limit, compared with about 25 per cent now.

But most governments now fear the cost of a global overhaul of the world's energy economy in the short time needed to meet the Paris climate goals.

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The signatories of the Paris Agreement would have to make sweeping changes to everything from industry and building, to land use, how cities run, and, of course, how we produce energy.

At current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, we could pass the 1.5C marker as early as 2030, and no later than mid-century, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reported with "high confidence". Global CO2 emissions may need to peak around 2020. Moreover, if global temperatures were to exceed the mark temporarily, then, additional carbon removal techniques would be required to return warming to below 1.5℃ by 2100. But the report warns that "the effectiveness of such techniques are unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development".

The lower target would also reduce species loss and extinction and the impact on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, the report said. That could reduce flooding and give the people that inhabit the world's coasts, islands and river deltas time to adapt to climate change. To prevent that, the world has to cut the amount of emissions released each year by 2030 so that they are no more than 55 per cent of what they were in 2010.

The IPCC is a United Nations body assessing the science related to climate change, which has 195 member states.

Taking the valuable input from the Report into account, the Commission will work to present in November an European Union strategy for long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction. When the next climate talks happen this December, the new report is created to give governments the incentive to go much further, faster.

Their concerns meant a pledge to pursue efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5C was included - after tough negotiations - alongside the commitment to keep them "well below" 2C in the global Paris climate agreement in 2015.

Some of the world's top climate scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach risky levels unless new technologies are developed to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

"Let's not forget that Australia accounts for just over one per cent of global emissions, so there are a lot bigger players than us out there impacting on these arrangements", he said. The report also urges politicians to ensure a 1 billion ton reduction in emissions for every one of the next 10 years.

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