United Nations warns world must take "unprecedented" steps on global warming

UN panel urges ‘unprecedented measures’ as key halting catastrophic climate change

"By refusing to endorse the findings of the IPCC's 1.5 degree celsius report, the U.S. has again given a clear signal that it would continue with its climate regressive agenda, which includes obstructing the work of the UNFCCC and promoting fossil fuels like coal and gas", said Chandra Bhushan, deputy DG of the CSE.

The report does describe how much more serious climatic impacts will be if the world lets warming reach 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Limiting warming to the lower goal is "not impossible but will require unprecedented changes", United Nations panel chief Hoesung Lee said in a news conference in which scientists repeatedly declined to spell out just how feasible that goal is.

But no matter how many warnings we receive - and let's be honest, at this point we have had far too many - no one is willing to put their foot down and pump the brakes.

Society would have to enact "unprecedented" changes to how it consumes energy, travels and builds to meet a lower global warming target or it risks increases in heat waves, flood-causing storms and the chances of drought in some regions, as well as the loss of species, a United Nations report said yesterday.

It is critical that world leaders understand the IPCC report and use it as a template for immediate action. If global warming is kept to 1.5° C, then only around 70-90 per cent of the world's coral reefs will be destroyed (compared with 100 per cent, if we hit 2°C - the Great Barrier Reef will absolutely not exist in a few decades if Australia continues on its current path).

The next major climate discussions are scheduled in December in Katowice, Poland where countries are expected to discuss rules to implement the Paris agreement.

But the report, dire as it is, misses a key point: Self-reinforcing feedbacks and tipping points-the wildcards of the climate system-could cause the climate to destabilize even further.

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"Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society", an IPCC press release reads. "You know, which group drew it", Trump said on the White House's South Lawn. The planet is already experiencing the effects of global warming. Problematically, the effectiveness of the negative emissions techniques that would be relied upon in such a scenario is unproven on a large scale. If they act now, they can seize new opportunities from innovative technologies, rather than risk onerous costs as climate change makes previous business models unsustainable.

To date, there's no overarching consensus on what the budget should be-which creates uncertainty about how much time is left, under current emissions trajectories, before the clock runs out on the Paris climate targets.

Gore's statement also seems at odds with the U.N.'s own conclusions, which downplay an increased risk of extreme weather as connected to climate change, and the "world's top scientists" actually suggested that the best approach to stemming global climate change was to "systematically disassemble capitalism", rendering technological advancement a thing of the past.

As part of the decision to adopt the Paris Agreement, the IPCC was invited to produce, in 2018, a Special Report on global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.

The IPCC report also advises a shift to less energy-intensive household goods such as smart thermostats and air conditioners. "Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world".

Scientists predict that any higher than 1.5°C and the effects will be irreversible.

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