UN Secretary-General António Guterres says a report published today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a “code red for humanity.”
“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,” the Secretary-General says in a statement.
According to the latest report by the IPCC Working Group 1 released today scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion – such as continued sea level rise – are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.
However, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. While benefits for air quality would come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize, according to the IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis.
“We are already at 1.2 degrees and rising,” the UN Secretary General says in his statement. “Warming has accelerated in recent decades. Every fraction of a degree counts. Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels. Extreme weather and climate disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. That is why this year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow is so important.”
The Secretary-General says the solution are clear:
“This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet… Countries should also end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy. By 2030, solar and wind capacity should quadruple and renewable energy investments should triple to maintain a net zero trajectory by mid-century.”
“If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.”
The report was approved on Friday by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on July 26.
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme addressed the IPCC at a press conference to launch the report.
“You have been telling us for over three decades of the dangers of allowing the planet to warm. The world listened, but it didn’t hear. The world listened, but it didn’t act strongly enough. As a result, climate change is a problem that is here, now. Nobody is safe. And it is getting worse faster. “
“We must treat climate change as an immediate threat, just as we must treat the connected crises of nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, as immediate threats,” Ms Andersen concluded.
The press conference to present the Summary for Policymakers of #IPCC’s next #ClimateReport, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, will be held via livestream at 10am CEST on 9 August. Follow live on Facebook https://bit.ly/IPCCFBLIVE