Climate Science Report Is “Critical” For COP26 Success: UN
Nearly 200 countries began online negotiations on Monday to ratify a UN science report that will serve as the foundation for autumn conferences aimed at averting global climate catastrophe.
“The report that you are going to finalize will be very important worldwide,” Petteri Taalas, the chairman of the World Meteorological Organization, told the 700 delegates via Zoom.
The assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is “essential” for the success of the November climate conference in Glasgow, he said.
Heatwaves, floods, and droughts that have ravaged three continents in recent weeks, all exacerbated by global warming, have increased the need for swift action.
In a prepared statement, Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s climate director, said, “For years, we have warned that all of this was possible, that all of this was coming.”
Late October will see a major G20 gathering with climate on the agenda.
Since the IPCC’s latest comprehensive analysis of global warming, past and future, in 2014, the globe has changed dramatically.
In the haze of fatal heatwaves and fires, any remaining doubts that warming was accelerating or was nearly totally human-caused have vanished, as has the deceptively soothing assumption that climate consequences are a worry for tomorrow.
Since the last IPCC report, the Paris Agreement has been ratified, with a collective vow to keep global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above late-nineteenth-century levels.
So far, carbon pollution from fossil fuel combustion, methane leakage, and agriculture has raised the temperature by 1.1 degrees Celsius.
Many parties, no doubt, believe this target can be safely ignored. The 2015 pact also includes an aspirational limit on warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
However, a special assessment published by the IPCC in 2018 demonstrated how much more disastrous an additional 2 degrees Celsius will be for humans and the earth.
IPCC lead author and Maynooth University professor Peter Thorne told AFP that “1.5 degrees became the de facto aim” – proof of the IPCC’s power in molding world policy.
To stay inside 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists estimate that greenhouse gas emissions must drop 50% by 2030 and be completely phased out by 2050.
“We are not on pace to meet the Paris Agreement goals of reducing climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” Espinosa warned.
According to present trends, the earth will warm by more than double that amount.
It’s the third major shift in the previous seven years. Brief News from Washington Newsday.