‘Now or never’ to limit global warming according to new IPCC report

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change highlights the need for immediate efforts to mitigate climate change.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — In the third installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, scientists around the world are stressing the need for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gases.

“The big message of the report is that the climate problem is getting worse, but the solutions are getting better,” says Dr. Gregory Nemet, professor of public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of part of the report. report. “The problem is compounded because we’ve been slow to act and haven’t actually reduced emissions, even though we’re seeing progress in a few places.”

The IPCC report indicates that total greenhouse gas emissions continued to increase from 2010 to 2019, although the rate of growth during this period was lower than the rate of the previous decade.

The report is firm that without immediate emission cuts across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, is out of reach.

According to IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea, “It is now or never if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Without immediate and deep reductions in emissions across all sectors, it will be impossible”.

In the United States, says Nemet, the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions are the electricity sector, the transportation sector and industry.

“And we know from that assessment in the report that we have tools and strategies in each of those areas,” he says.

These tools include moving away from coal and switching to renewable energy, transitioning from gasoline to electric vehicles, and much more.

Another highlight of the report is that the cost of these solutions continues to drop.

“The solutions that are improving really show up looking at technologies like solar, like wind, like electric vehicles, where their costs have dropped by 85% in the case of solar and batteries, and their adoption has increased by orders of magnitude,” says Német.

Experts say these climate mitigation solutions must be deployed quickly to limit warming beyond the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold. The report also highlights the need for international cooperation to achieve climate change mitigation goals.

Teresa H. Sadler