They warn that the burning of fossil fuels is worsening the climate crisis and is responsible for the 1.1ºC rise over pre-industrial levels. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, strong and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must be achieved in all sectors.
There are several viable and effective options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to human-induced climate change that are currently available, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. climate (IPCC) published on Monday.
“Mainstreaming effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce loss and damage to nature and people, but also bring greater benefitssaid Hoesung Lee, Chairman of the IPCC. “Synthesis report highlights urgency for more ambitious action and shows that acting now can still ensure a sustainable and livable future for all”.
In 2018, the IPCC highlighted the unprecedented scale of the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Five years later, the challenge is even greater due to the steady increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The pace and scale of action taken so far, as well as current plans, are insufficient to address climate change.
Fossil fuel combustion and energy consumption
The burning of fossil fuels and the unequal and unsustainable use of energy and land for more than a century has resulted in global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. As a result, more frequent and intense extreme weather events have occurred, generating increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people in all parts of the world.
Each increase in warming translates into a rapid increase in the dangers. More intense heat waves, heavier precipitation and other extreme weather events exacerbate risks to human health and ecosystems. In all regions, extreme heat kills. Climate-related food insecurity and water insecurity are expected to increase due to increased warming. When risks are combined with other adverse events, such as pandemics or conflicts, they become even more difficult to control.
Loss and damage at the forefront of the climate crisis
The report, adopted at a week-long meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland, highlights the loss and damage that has already occurred and will continue in the future, particularly affecting the most vulnerable people and ecosystems. Taking the right steps today can lead to transformative change essential to achieving a sustainable and equitable world.
“Climate justice is crucial as those who contributed least to climate change are disproportionately affectedexplained Aditi Mukherji, one of 93 authors of the Synthesis Report, the final chapter of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report.
“Nearly half of the world’s population lives in regions highly vulnerable to climate change. In the last decade, the number of deaths from floods, droughts and storms has been 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regionsMukherji added.
During this decade, accelerated action to adapt to climate change is essential to close the gap between the adaptation measures in place and those that are needed. Moreover, in order to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, dramatic, rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed across all sectors. These should already have decreased and will have to be reduced by almost half by 2030 if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C and stem the climate crisis.
A clear path to stem the climate crisis
The solution lies in climate-resilient development. This involves integrating measures to adapt to climate change with actions to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions, in such a way that they provide greater benefits.
For example, access to clean energy and technology improves health, especially for women and children; low-carbon electrification, walking and cycling, and public transportation improve air quality, health, and job opportunities, while promoting equity. The economic benefits to human health of improving air quality would roughly equal or even exceed the costs of reducing or avoiding emissions.
Climate resilient development is becoming increasingly difficult with each increase in warming and the climate crisis. This is why the decisions taken in the years to come will be fundamental in determining our future and that of future generations.
For these decisions to be effective, they must be based on diverse values, opinions and knowledge, including scientific, indigenous and local. This approach will facilitate climate-resilient development and generate locally appropriate and socially acceptable solutions.
“The largest well-being gains could be achieved by prioritizing climate risk reduction in low-income and marginalized communities, including people living in informal settlementssaid Christopher Trisos, one of the report’s authors. “Accelerated climate action will only bear fruit if funding is dramatically increased. Insufficient and misallocated funding slows progress”.
Facilitate sustainable development
There is enough capital in the world to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stem the climate crisis if existing barriers are reduced. To achieve global climate goals, it is important to increase climate investments. Governments, through public funding, help reduce these barriers. Investors, central banks and financial regulators can also contribute in this regard.
There are proven policy measures that can help achieve dramatic emission reductions and build climate resilience if scaled up and applied more widely. Political commitment, coordinated policies, international cooperation, ecosystem management and inclusive governance are important to enable effective and equitable climate action.
By sharing the right technologies, expertise and policy measures, and immediately providing sufficient funding, every community can reduce its carbon-intensive consumption. At the same time, with considerable investment, increased risk can be avoided, especially for vulnerable groups and regions.
Climate, ecosystems and society are interconnected
Climate, ecosystems and society are interconnected. Effective and equitable conservation of 30-50% of Earth’s land, marine and freshwater resources will help ensure the health of the planet. Urban areas provide a global opportunity to drive ambitious climate action that contributes to sustainable development.
Through changes in the food sector, electricity, transport, industry, buildings and land use, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. At the same time, these changes can help people lead low-carbon lives, which will also promote improved health and well-being. With a better knowledge of the consequences of excessive consumption, people can make more informed decisions.
“Transformational change is more likely to thrive when there is trust, when everyone works together to prioritize risk reduction, and when benefits and burdens are shared equitably.“supported Lee. “We live in a diverse world where each person has different responsibilities and different opportunities to create change. Some people can make a big contribution, while others will need support to manage change”