Strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in emissions are now needed to avoid a climate catastrophe, according to a major UN report.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) latest report was described as a “code red for humanity” with the climate being impacted in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways.
The report that that since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years. The authors believe a 1.5C rise in temperatures will be reached by 2040 in all scenarios.
However, scientists say a catastrophe could be avoided if the world acts rapidly and achieves deep cuts in emissions through measures such as an acceleration in the shift to renewables.
Professor Simon Lewis of University College London said the report contains a “stark message” and that faster decarbonisation was needed.
“Cutting emissions to net zero means keeping fossil fuels in the ground, ending deforestation, and rapidly moving to using renewable energy to power the global economy.
“The new report significantly raises the pressure on world leaders to agree detailed and achievable plans to immediately cut emissions when they meet for the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November.”
COP26 President Alok Sharma admitted time was running out.
“We can’t afford to wait two years, five years, 10 years – this is the moment. I don’t think we’re out of time but I think we’re getting dangerously close to when we might be out of time.”