'Huge changes needed to reduce global warming'

Landmark UN global warming report carries life-or-death warning

Landmark UN global warming report carries life-or-death warning

At current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, Earth will zoom past the 1.5°C signpost around 2040, and as early as 2030.

And she said: "Today's report by the IPCC makes clear that avoiding risky climate change will require a transformational effort, and that is precisely what Labour is offering - a plan to rapidly decarbonise our energy system as part of a green jobs revolution, and a long term target of net zero emissions before 2050".

To ensure the planet is liveable, global Carbon dioxide emissions have to be reduced by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and renewables must provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050 to meet targets.

Limiting warming to 1.5°C by making green changes in energy consumption, land and water use and transportation can help mitigate the potential damage to an extent.

The IPCC report noted the world is rapidly losing any chance to limit average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, though there is still a theoretical chance if the political will existed.

The report, which draws on 6,000 research papers, was prepared by the IPCC's, examined the science of climate change, the impact of it and how it can be mitigated.

A United Nations report on Monday said that temperatures are likely to rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if global warming continues at its current pace and if humanity fails to take rapid steps to curb the problem.

The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5 C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be. The report points out that the risk transition from 1.5°C to 2°C is very high and the impact of a 2°C rise will be more devastating than what IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report had indicated.

"There are signs that we can do a lot more", he said.

Even with a temperature increase of 1.5C, coral reefs are expected to decline by 70-90 per cent.

Countries in the southern hemisphere will be among the worse off, the report said.

The report underlines how even the smallest increase in the base target would worsen the impact of recent natural disasters.

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

"By 2100, global mean sea level rise will be around 10cm lower for warming of 1.5 degrees compared with 2C".

Coral reefs would decline by 70% to 90% instead of being nearly completely wiped out.

The pledges nations made in the Paris agreement in 2015 are "clearly insufficient to limit warming to 1.5 in any way", one of the study's lead authors, Joerj Roeglj of the Imperial College in London, said.

"There is no definitive way to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 above pre-industrial levels", the UN-requested report said.

"Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics", said Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC working group dealing with the mitigation of climate change.

"The next few years are probably the most important in our history", she added.

Petrol and diesel cars would be replaced with electric models.Scientists warn that protecting and restoring forests will be key to cutting carbon and drawing down excess emissions from the atmosphere.

Responding to the report, Prof Corinne Le Quere, from the University of East Anglia, said: "For the United Kingdom, this means a rapid switch to renewable energy and electric cars, insulating our homes, planting trees, where possible walking or cycling and eating well - more plants and less meat - and developing an industry to capture carbon and store it underground".

However, all methods "are at different stages of development and some are more conceptual than others, as they have not been tested at scale", the report warned. And they argue carbon pricing does little to reduce emissions - a view that has been challenged by leading environmental economists. Despite the report's dire warnings, there is no indication such cooperation will be doable, particularly given the Trump administration's stance on this issue.

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