According to a major new report, which was released on Monday, the Earth is likely to surpass a critical threshold for global warming within the next ten years, and nations must make an immediate and drastic shift away from fossil fuels to stop the planet from dangerously overheating beyond that level.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change study provides the most thorough analysis to date of how the earth is changing. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a group of specialists assembled by the United Nations. According to the report, if people keep burning coal, oil, and natural gas, world average temperatures will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the “early part of the 2030s,” over pre-industrial levels.
This number is significant in international climate politics: Practically every country pledged to “continue its efforts” to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as part of the 2015 Paris climate pact. Beyond that, according to scientists, humanity will find it much harder to deal with the effects of extreme heat waves, floods, droughts, crop failures, and species extinctions.
According to the current analysis, there is still time to reverse direction. Yet for that to happen, developed nations would need to take immediate action to cut greenhouse gas emissions approximately in half by 2030 and then completely stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by the early 2050s. There would be around a 50% chance of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if these two actions were done.
Delays of even a few years would probably prevent the achievement of that aim and ensure a hotter, riskier future.
The research is released as China and the United States, the world’s two top polluters, continue to approve new fossil fuel projects.
168 coal-fired power plants of all sizes received permits from China last year, according to the Energy and Clean Air Research Center in Finland. The Biden administration this week gave the go-ahead for a large oil drilling project dubbed Willow to be carried out on pristine public property in Alaska.
The world’s coal-fired power plants, oil wells, factories, cars, and trucks, according to the 195-government-approved assessment, will already produce enough carbon dioxide this century to raise global temperatures by about 2 degrees Celsius. Several of these projects would need to be halted, terminated, or otherwise repaired in order to keep warming below this level.
“The 1.5 degree limit is possible, but it would necessitate a quantum leap in climate protection,” stated António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Guterres urged nations to halt the construction of new coal-fired power plants and the approval of new oil and gas projects in response to the report.
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