According to a UN report, world leaders have failed to fight climate change.
UN scientists recently issued a stark warning about the effects of climate change on people and the planet, stating that ecosystem collapse, species extinction, lethal heat waves, and flooding are among the “multiple unavoidable climate risks” that the world will face in the next 20 years as a result of global warming.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” Hoesung Lee, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said (IPCC).
“It demonstrates that climate change is a serious and growing threat to our well-being as well as the health of the planet.” “How people adapt and how nature responds to growing climate risks will be determined by our actions today,” he said, adding that “half measures are no longer an option.”
According to the report, human-caused climate change is wreaking havoc on nature and affecting billions of people around the world. Despite efforts to mitigate risks, the people and ecosystems most vulnerable to these risks bear the brunt of the consequences of climate change.
This is the second of three reports by the UN’s leading climate scientists; its publication comes just over 100 days after the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26) agreed to increase action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
The first report, released in August, was dubbed a “code red for humanity” by UN Secretary General António Guterres, who stated at the time that “if we join forces now, we can avoid climate catastrophe.”
Climate change has left us gasping for air.
The latest report, according to Guterres, is “an atlas of human suffering and an indictment pointing to failed climate leadership.”
The report’s data, which focuses on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, reveals how climate change is “crushing” people and the planet.
“At the moment, nearly half of the population lives in a danger zone.” For the time being, many ecosystems have passed the point of no return. For the time being, unchecked carbon pollution is pushing the world’s most vulnerable people down a path of destruction,” he said.
It is a crime to abandon leadership.
Guterres emphasized that the world’s largest polluters are to blame for destroying our only home.
In the face of such dire evidence, meeting the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is critical, and science indicates that this will require the world to reduce emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
“However, based on current commitments, global emissions will rise by nearly 14 percent over the next decade.” That will be a disaster. “It will annihilate any chance of keeping the 1.5-degree target alive,” said the UN’s top official.
One of the report’s key assertions is that coal and other fossil fuels are choking humanity, according to the Secretary, who urged all G20 governments to honor their commitments to stop financing coal-based energy both abroad and at home, as well as to decommission coal-fired plants.
“You cannot claim to be green while you have plans and projects that undermine the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and ignore the significant emissions reductions that must occur during this decade,” he said to the oil and gas titans. “This smokescreen will not fool the public,” he said.
Instead of slowing the global economy’s decarbonization, he believes that now is the time to accelerate the energy transition to a renewables-based future, noting that “fossil fuels are a dead end for our planet, humanity, and economies.”
He also urged “developed countries, multilateral development banks, private financial players, and other stakeholders to form coalitions to help major emerging economies transition away from coal.”
Climate change adaptation saves lives.
The report’s second main finding is slightly more encouraging: investments in adaptation work.
“As the effects of climate change worsen, which they will, it will be critical to increase investments in order to survive.” Adaptation and mitigation must be pursued with equal zeal. That is why I have advocated for allocating 50% of all climate finance to adaptation,” Guterres said.
Noting that Glasgow’s commitment to adaptation finance is clearly insufficient to meet the challenges of nations on the frontlines of the climate crisis, he said he is also pushing to remove barriers that prevent small island states and least developed countries from receiving the desperately needed finance to save their lives and livelihoods.
“In order to deal with this new reality, we need new eligibility criteria.” “Any delay results in deaths,” he said.
The Secretary expressed admiration for those working on solutions to the climate crisis on the front lines, and he acknowledged how angry and restless people around the world are.
“I am as well. Now is the time to channel your rage into action. Every fraction of a degree is significant. Every voice has the potential to make a difference. “Every second counts,” he added.
Immediate action is required to address the growing risks.
According to the Panel, increasing heat waves, droughts, and floods are already exceeding plant and animal tolerance thresholds, causing mass mortality in species such as trees and corals. These extreme weather events are occurring concurrently, resulting in cascading effects that are becoming increasingly difficult to manage.
Millions of people have been exposed to severe food and water insecurity as a result of these severe weather events, particularly in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, small island nations, and the Arctic.
To avoid further loss of life, biodiversity, and infrastructure, new climate change adaptation measures must be implemented quickly while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the new report, adaptation progress has been uneven thus far, and the gap between actions taken and those required to address the growing risks is widening. These disparities are most concerning among lower-income groups.
“This report recognizes the interdependence of climate, biodiversity, and people and integrates natural, social, and economic sciences more strongly than previous assessments,” Hoesung Lee said.
Nature conservation is critical to ensuring a livable future.
There are ways to adapt to a changing climate. This report, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), provides new insights into nature’s potential not only to reduce climate risks, but also to improve people’s lives.
“Healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change and provide essential services like food and clean water,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of Working Group II.
“By restoring degraded ecosystems and effectively and equitably conserving 30-50 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial, freshwater, and ocean habitats, society can benefit from nature’s ability to absorb and store carbon, enabling progress toward sustainable development; however, adequate funding and political support are required.”
Climate change, according to the scientists, interacts with global trends such as unsustainable resource use, increasing urbanization, social inequalities, loss and damage from extreme events, and a pandemic, putting future development at risk.
“Our assessments clearly show that addressing all of these different challenges requires everyone – governments, the private sector, and civil society – to work together to prioritize risk reduction, as well as equity and fairness, in decision-making and investment,” said Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II.
Cities are climate change hotspots that must be addressed.
The report provides a detailed assessment of the impacts, risks, and adaptation to climate change in cities and urban areas, where more than half of the world’s population lives.
“Increased urbanization and climate change create complex risks, particularly for cities already experiencing poorly planned urban growth, high levels of poverty and unemployment, and a lack of basic services,” Roberts emphasized.
“However, cities also provide opportunities for climate action: green buildings, consistent supplies of clean water and renewable energy, and sustainable transportation systems that connect urban and rural areas can all contribute to a more inclusive and just society.”
Time is running out to slow climate change.
Overall, the report, which provides extensive regional information to support climate-resilient development, emphasizes the critical need for action to mitigate climate change, with an emphasis on equity and justice.
Adequate funding, technology transfer, political commitment, and collaboration all contribute to more effective climate change adaptation and emission reductions.
“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and global health.” “Any further delay in concerted global action will quickly erode what little room we have left to secure a livable future,” Hans-Otto Pörtner concluded.
Article Author Gerluxe