On Monday, officials around the globe raised the alarm over a disturbing new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It called for immediate action to reduce global warming and urged that rich countries take stern measures to prevent it from happening again. This will set the scene for tension at the November global climate summit.
According to the IPCC, drastic and immediate reductions in carbon emissions are needed to stop the world from... [+] heating above the Paris Agreement targets. Getty Images
The Key Facts
The IPCC panel warned Monday that human activities have caused "unprecedented" climate changes and may be irreversible. However, drastic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could prevent catastrophic temperature rises. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, President Joe Biden's special envoy for climate, said the report underscores the urgency of this moment and called for the COP26 summit in Glasgow to be a turning point in this crisis. However, drastic and immediate cuts to greenhouse gas emissions could help prevent catastrophic temperature increases. Former Sec. The former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed is the ambassador for the climate vulnerable forum, which represents 48 of the most affected nations by climate change. He called the report "devastating news" and said that it confirmed the urgent need to shift our focus to ensure those who are facing climate-driven disasters tomorrow survive. Bhupender Yadav, India's environment minister, also attacked wealthier countries. He said that the report reaffirms Indias responsibility for the climate crisis and that it should be a wake-up call to developed countries to cut their emissions immediately.
Nasheed stated that it was important for the world to not forget the fundamental injustice of the climate emergency... We are paying the price with our lives for carbon someone else has emitted.
Monday's IPCC report is the most current assessment of climate science. It was based on over 14,000 papers that were reviewed by an international expert group. The IPCC report shows that greenhouse gases from human activities have caused 1.1C warming since the second-half of the 19th century. This is a clear result of human activities. This is a departure in previous IPCC reports, which were less cautious in blaming humans. Previous IPCC reports have been tied to major policy developmentsincluding the U.N. This report will provide the basis for a conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November. In negotiations, fairness is often the main focus. Wealthier countries often criticize heavily polluting nations such as India and China for not doing enough to reduce their emissions. President Trump frequently did this, which is used to justify delaying action to reduce their emissions. But, focusing on emissions only ignores the consumption patterns of wealthy nations (with production often outsourced to less affluent countries), the uneven size and history of carbon emissions (India and China's emissions per capita are much lower than the totals suggest), and the impact of their development.
The United States is the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses and has the highest cumulative carbon footprint. To meet his climate goals, President Joe Biden set ambitious targets. These include halving greenhouse gas emission by 2030 and achieving a net zero economy by 2050.
What to Watch
China and Russia are the fourth and fifth largest carbon dioxide emitters in the world, respectively, in 2019. They have not commented on the report. The United States and India are second, third, and third, respectively, and will be key participants in any negotiations. China has pledged to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and reach peak emissions by 2030. However, no plans for reaching these goals have been released. Coal-powered power plantsare being constructed and reopened throughout the country. Russia is a signatory of the Paris Agreement but has not yet put in place policies to achieve climate goals.
4. Experts warned that this is how many G20 countries have climate targets that could lead to catastrophic warming. All four countries, Australia, Brazil, China and Russia have energy policies that could lead to 5C temperature rises.
Code Red for Humanity: Unprecedented Climate Change by Humans, U.N. Report (Forbes).
Diagnosing Earth: The science behind the IPCC's forthcoming climate report (Nature).
Scientists warn that a major Atlantic current may be at risk of collapsing (Forbes).
Global Warming of 1.5 C (IPCC report)