Here we are again, reading a further report from the sustained and global effort that is the IPCC* to raise awareness of the science and pathways available for us to collectively curb the pace and consequennces of our changing climate.
The latest, released in April 2022, is focused on the what and the how of mitigating the impacts of human-caused global heating*.
For those who have been following along since the first AR6 report in this batched (released last August) the story will be familiar.
The science shows us what we need to do, the time have to do it, and also that we have a load of the capability to make it happen. At its core it's a roadmap to a more stable, equitable and balanced world.
We literally couldn't say it better than the Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee: “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming.” We absolutely do!
Here's a few of the main headlines that we caught from this latest report:
- global emissions* will need to peak by 2025 for us to be within our remaining carbon budget* to keep to the 1.5 degrees of warming in the Paris Agreement*
- carbon emissions should be reduced by 43% by 2030, and methane emissions cut by a third
- "even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold but could return to below it by the end of the century"
- global temperatures will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero*. For 1.5°C (2.7°F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2°C, it is in the early 2070s.
- it also shows that limiting warming to around 2°C (3.6°F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030
- it talks about the money is available to do it, although we're presently spending between 3 and 6 times less than we should be to be on track by 2030
- “Having the right policies, infrastructure and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behaviour can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This offers significant untapped potential,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla. “The evidence also shows that these lifestyle changes can improve our health and wellbeing.”
- large scale emissions reductions as well removals are necessary across everything we do, and at all levels; on the scales of countries, companies as well as individuals
- the use of carbon dioxide removal solutions (CDR*) is "unavoidable" to counterbalance hard-to-reduce residual emissions, if net zero CO2 or GHG* emissions are to be achieved. We will need to scale up both nature and technology based removal, as quickly as possible
We loved this all encompassing quote, from IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea:
"Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production... This report shows how taking action now can move us towards a fairer, more sustainable world.”
We'll add more in the next couple days as we dig further into the report!
So what's next?
Take a look of our summary from the previous IPCC report, released in February 2022, here:
What does the IPCC's Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability report say?
Have hope, make progress! 💚
Climate Buzzword Dictionary
IPCC - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A United Nations organization set up to assess and document the evidence for climate change. They bring together scientists and scientific papers to assess the evidence
Global heating / warming -
Carbon Budget - allowance of emissions to stay below a certain level of average global temperature rise, ideally 1.5C or less than 2C. We have about 500 gigatonnes left (that's not much at our present rate)
Paris Agreement - international agreement to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsuis while aiming for 1.5C increase in average global temperatures (1.5 degrees is what the science says reduces the likelihood of worst case scenarios)
Emissions - the creation and release of Greenhouse gases into the atmosphere due to human activity, trapping heat
Net Zero - a target to stop producing Greenhouse Gases from human activity by 2050. It combines reducing, removing as well as offsetting hard to eliminate emissions. Also called Net-zero 2050