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UN IPCC Will Meet To Consider On A Global Warming Impact Report

The report finds that current Paris pledges make 2030 emissions likely to reach 11 to 13.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) above the level needed to stay on.

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The sun is seen through evening air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 8, 2018. VOA
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Experts from around the world will gather in South Korea from Monday for the 48th session of UN body Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to consider a special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The report, titled Global Warming of 1.5AoC, a major scientific undertaking on the latest climate change research will speak on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.

It will give policymakers the scientific information they need to take sound decisions and act to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The report, slated for October 8 release, was commissioned by governments after the UN climate change meeting in Paris in 2015, when it was agreed to act to limit increases in global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to try keeping that increase nearer to 1.5 degrees.

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A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

The report findings will come up for approval at the IPCC plenary that will conclude on October 5.

The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Commenting on his expectations for the report, Least Developed Countries Group Chair Gebru Jember Endalew said: “It will be important that the report and the summary for policy makers clearly sets out the scientific necessity of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as opposed to two degrees to protect people and the planet and highlights the vast discrepancy between this goal and our current global emissions pathway.

“In doing so, the report will shine a spotlight on the scale of the challenge the international community must rise up to meet. A future where warming is limited to 1.5 degrees is a brighter future for all.”

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Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. VOA

The globe may miss the mark to achieve the Paris climate goals, warned the leaked IPCC final draft of the report that was shared with governments in June.

The leaked draft said a vast majority of nations, including disaster-facing India, were missing the mark in achieving the goal set at the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The draft report warned that “if emissions continue at their present rate, human-induced warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius by around 2040”.

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), rated by Climate Action Tracker’s independent scientific analysis, as “2 degrees Celsius compatible”, is still too high for the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit set in Paris.

Experts say current Indian climate pledges can be achieved if the country continues to increase the share of non-fossil energy resources.

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Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

India has ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement and pledged to reduce domestic emissions by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 — below 2005 levels — and increase the share of non-fossil energy resources to 40 per cent of installed electric power capacity by 2030.

After media reports on the leaked draft, the IPCC had clarified draft reports “are provided to governments and reviewers as confidential working documents.

“For these reasons, the IPCC does not comment on the contents of draft reports while work is still ongoing.”

According to the UN Environment’s Emissions Gap Report 2017, even if countries meet their pledges to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, their actions would only represent a third of what is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Also Read: Wetlands Disappearing Faster Than Forests Due to Climate Change: Report

The report finds that current Paris pledges make 2030 emissions likely to reach 11 to 13.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) above the level needed to stay on the least-cost path to meeting the 2 degrees Celsius target.

One gigatonne is roughly equivalent to one year of transport emissions in the European Union, including aviation. (IANS)

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Use Every Resources To Help in Climate Change: Scientists

Individuals and civic groups have a big role to play in pushing governments to tackle climate threats.

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The coal-fired Plant Scherer, one of the nation's top carbon dioxide emitters, stands in the distance in Juliette, Georgia. VOA

Last-ditch efforts to hold climate change to the most ambitious target set by governments will likely require using every available technique rather than picking and choosing the most attractive ones, climate scientists said on Monday.

Dramatically reducing the use of coal, planting huge swaths of land with carbon-absorbing forest or powering most transport with electricity are no longer sufficient to bring about the swift transition needed, they said, with warming expected to pass the 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) mark in as little as 12 years.

“We can make choices about how much of each option to choose, but the idea you can leave anything out is impossible,” said Jim Skea, who jointly led a major scientific report analyzing the feasibility of holding global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, requested by governments, was issued ahead of a U.N. conference in December in Poland that will consider how to increase country ambitions to cut emissions and manage climate risks better.

Current government commitments to curb climate change under the Paris pact, even if fully met, would still leave the world on track for about 3 degrees of warming, scientists said.

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Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C. VOA

To have a chance of meeting the 1.5 degrees goal, climate-changing emissions would have to plunge 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, the report said.

As that would be an “unprecedented” rate of decline, it is more likely the world will overshoot the target, then try to return to it by sucking carbon from the air, scientists said.

Such “carbon removal” might happen by developing better technology to take out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – now an extremely expensive process – or by planting many more forests that could be harvested and burned for energy, with emissions pumped into underground storage.

“We have not identified any pathways that get to 1.5 degrees Celsius without some kind of carbon dioxide removal,” Skea said.

But turning over much more land for energy production “could have implications for food security, ecosystems and biodiversity,” the British scientist warned, as competition for land grows.

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Traffic moves as smoke emits from the chimney of a factory on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. VOA

All on board

Swiftly reducing emissions – even with carbon removal – will also require unprecedented levels of international cooperation, a particular challenge as some national governments, like that in the United States, look increasingly inward.

Making the needed emissions changes “is within the scope of what humans can achieve”, said Hans-Otto Portner, a German climate scientist and IPCC report co-chair.

But success “depends on political leadership,” he added.

Henri Waisman, a senior researcher at Paris-based think tank IDDRI and one of 91 report authors, said the report’s aim was to set out the types of transformation required as clearly as possible to inform discussions at U.N. climate talks and beyond.

Delaying action on climate change “is something that is explicitly contradicted in the report,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Climate Change Fuels California Fires. Flickr

If governments fail to ramp up their ambition to reduce heat-trapping emissions over the next two years, they will have consciously abandoned the 1.5 degree goal, he added.

Action in cities – which consume more than two-thirds of energy globally and account for about three-quarters of carbon emissions – are pivotal to meeting the target, said report author William Solecki, a professor at Hunter College-City University of New York.

That’s particularly true because most population growth in coming years “is going to be in urban areas – a lot of it particularly in small and medium-sized cities … in the global south,” he said.

Those cities will need more support to develop cleanly, prevent disasters and adapt to climate shifts, he added.

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The connection between Antarctic Volcanic Eruptions and abrupt Climate Change. Pixabay

The scientists said the report was intended to guide more than just governments, however, and that action by everyone – including individuals and businesses – would be required to hold the line on climate change.

“There’s a lot we can do individually or within our communities,” said Debora Ley, a report author who works on adaptation and renewable energy in Latin America.

Also Read: UN IPCC Will Meet To Consider On A Global Warming Impact Report

Personal changes might include everything from eating less meat to using energy-efficient appliances and reducing air travel, said Patricia Pinho, a Brazilian climate scientist and report author.

Individuals and civic groups have a big role to play in pushing governments to tackle climate threats, and are stepping up pressure as recognition of the danger grows, she said.

“We have to live our lives in a way that makes a difference. “Our life on this planet, our kids are at risk,” she said. (VOA)