A United Nations-backed panel of climate scientists warned in a news report released yesterday that the world may be on track to warm by more than 3 Degrees Celsius twice the Paris Agreement target in a change that would painfully remake societies and life on the planet.
The international goal to limit global heating to 1.5 Degrees Celsius (2.7 Degrees Fahrenheit) is officially on life support.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes after years of net-zero pledges by national governments, cities, businesses, and investors, and it sounds a stark warning on the still-unchecked emissions of greenhouse gas emissions pushing to record levels. Greenhouse gas pollution must peak “at the latest before 2025” to keep targets alive, warned the IPCC scientists.
Based on national pledges made before last November’s Glasgow climate negotiations, emissions in 2030 “would make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5 Degrees Celsius during the 21st century,” the authors conclude. Scientists in recent years have reduced the likelihood of much higher increases, and the report makes clear that solutions are available or foreseeable in virtually every sector:
There are cost-effective carbon-cutting opportunities that together could meet half the 2030 emissions target. At least 18 countries have proven that it’s possible to reduce greenhouse- in some cases up to 4% a year and potentially in line with a 2 Degrees Celsius temperature rise.
Solar and wind costs fell 85% and 55% between 2010 and 2019, making them now cheaper than fossil-fuel-powered electricity generation in many places. Carbon-free and low-carbon technologies, including nuclear and hydroelectric power, made up 37% of the electricity generated globally in 2019. Transportation, which caused 23% of CO2 emissions from energy in 2019 (16% from road vehicles alone) is poised for change, with battery prices dropping 85% ..so there is still hope to keep the earth alive for future generations.