The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report on climate change mitigation warns of an “enormous, growing emissions gap,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said yesterday, adding up to a “file of shame” the puts humanity on track toward an unliveable world.
The report “is a litany of broken climate promises,” Guterres said in a video message responding to the 2,913-page release. And it puts humanity “on a fast track to climate disaster: Major cities underwater. Unprecedented heat waves. Terrifying storms. Widespread water shortages. The extinction of a million species of plants and animals.”
That set of predictions “is not fiction or exaggeration,” he added. “It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies.”
The IPCC climate mitigation report is the third in a series of three in-depth releases leading up to the UN agency’s full climate science assessment due in September, ahead of the COP 27 climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. It combines an alarming assessment of the limited carbon budget available to keep global warming within 1.5° or even 2°C with an inventory of options for getting emissions under control.
Our special report on the IPCC’s climate mitigation report includes these stories:
“Climate scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts,” he said yesterday. “But high-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames. They are choking our planet, based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security, and greater price stability.”
The science dictates a 45% emissions reduction this decade, but current climate pledges under the Paris climate agreement would only deliver 14%, the secretary-general added. “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”
He called for measures to triple the speed of the transition to renewable energy, shift investment from fossil fuels to renewables, protect forests and ecosystems, and move quickly to reduce climate-busting methane emissions.