The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Oct 6, 2018 reports that the world is headed for painful problems sooner than expected, as emissions keep rising. The scientific findings from the main report are summarized in a 34-page document, approved by all representatives from 195 nations, including the United States.
Here are a few highlights.
It is already happening
Our planet is already 1°C warmer and we are witnessing extreme chaotic weather patterns. We are likely to reach +1,5°C in as little as 11 years (in 2030). Despite that under the 2015 Paris Agreement, every country in the world agreed to keep global temperatures well below 2°C, the current trend is showing that we will more likely reach 3°C by 2100.
This Special Report shares various pathways to stabilize global warming at 1.5°C:
- No More fossil fuel: cut their use by 50% in less than 15 years and eliminate them almost entirely in 30 years.
- Renewable energy: 1-7 million km2 of land converted to growing bioenergy crops.
- Forests: 10 million km2 of forests added by 2050 (1,2 X the size of Brazil) for large-scale removal of carbon from the atmosphere. Forests currently absorb about 25% of our CO2, reforestation and improving forest management together could remove up to 18% of the additional reductions needed by 2030. ”The world’s forests contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas, and coal deposits. Our planet’s future climate is inextricably tied to the future of its forests,” the scientists wrote.
This is not a menu to choose from, we need to act on the 3 fronts simultaneous and now.