Monday, 22 October, 2018

United Nations panel urges fast action to avoid climate catastrophe

CLIMATE GOALS The Associated PressCLIMATE GOALS
Kristen Harrington | 10 October, 2018, 02:43

A new United Nations report warns of the unprecedented changes needed by society to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 Celcius above pre-industrial levels. "If the current warming rate continues, the world would reach human-induced global warming of 1.5°C around 2040".

The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement during the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December.

This again puts Trump at odds with the rest of the world when it comes to climate change, with the U.S. the world's only country to disavow the Paris climate agreement, which committed governments to attempt to stay within the 1.5C limit.

While energy systems play a massive role in the future of climate change, the report does not end there.

Countries are already seeing an increase in extreme weather and rising sea levels as a result of the increase in average global temperatures of 1 degree above pre-industrial levels that has already occurred, the IPCC study said.

Li said the city's current climate strategy was not aggressive enough and urged the government to align itself with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees by setting an 80 per cent emissions reduction target for 2030. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius. Coral reefs would be devastated-about 70%-90% would be lost with a 1.5 degree increase; nearly all the world's reefs would be eviscerated if average temperatures rose by more than two degrees.

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"The next few years are probably the most important in our history".

So how can we make sure that warming does not exceed 1.5°C and take us into highly risky territory? Scientists have warned that the enormous changes in energy, transportation and land use required to meet this goal are technically possible, but now appear unlikely.

Reaffirming the Federal Government's commitment to the Paris agreement, which aims to cut 2005-level emissions 26 per cent by 2030, Environment Minister Melissa Price said the IPCC report would be considered as part of a review of Australia's contribution to global action on climate change.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere past year, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

Allowing the global temperature to temporarily exceed or "overshoot" 1.5 °C would mean a greater reliance on techniques that remove Carbon dioxide from the air to return global temperature to below 1.5 °C by 2100.

But the report said some measures, such as planting forests, bioenergy use or capturing and storing CO2, remained unproven on a large scale and carried some risks. "You know, which group drew it", Trump said on the White House's South Lawn. "It is up to them to decide what to do with it", Dr Jim Skea, one of the report's co-chairs, told reporters in a broadcast from Incheon, near Seoul, where the report was released. Vestas, says Zevin in a recent report, "has led research and development" to reduce the cost of wind power, approaching parity with traditional energy sources on a level cost basis.

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Here's why: the report takes a look at the targets the world agreed to try and meet in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which was aimed at keeping global warming below 2°C (1.5°C, if possible).

Strengthening the capacities for climate action of national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities can support the implementation of ambitious actions implied by limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

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

WA's Ningaloo Reef could be wiped out within three decades unless fossil fuels are phased out and the world changes dramatically to deal with a warming planet, according to a landmark report.

If the average global temperature temporarily exceeded 1.5C, additional carbon removal techniques would be required to return warming to below 1.5C by 2100.

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