Climate Change Is a �Hammer Hitting Us on the Head,� Developing Nations Say

According to Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International's executive director, it is like a boost for some of the legal strategies Greenpeace and other organisations have pursued in courts for many years. Greenpeace sued Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands earlier this year using evidence from an older U.N. report. Ms. Morgan stated that she expects the speed and scale of calls for action to be louder, larger, and more intense than ever before. Hours after the report's publication, protests were planned in London and other cities for later this month. According to the report, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise or are not reduced at all, there will be more warming and worsening of climate effects for at least the remainder of this century. However, governments can make drastic, immediate cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize the climate at 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than preindustrial levels. Already, the Earth has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the excitement generated by the report, it became clear that many of the world's largest polluters, such as China and the United States were unlikely to make an immediate switch away from fossil fuels. This was despite the fact that the Paris climate agreement, an international agreement to combat global warming, set a higher limit for global temperature rises to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. Nearly all the countries that signed the agreement are far from meeting their commitment. The report stated that every degree of warming above this level would result in more devastating floods, heat waves, and droughts. It also warned against an accelerating sea-level rising, which could endanger the existence of certain island countries. The United States, which has historically pumped more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere than any other country in the world, pledged in April to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly half by 2030. Although this is a lofty goal, it falls short of the European Union's legal target and is significantly lower than that of Britain.

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