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U.N. IPCC Climate Issues

 A massive update on climte issues, April 8, 2022

  Limiting global warming to 1.5C or 2C would mean “rapid and deep” emissions reductions in “all sectors” of the global economy, says the latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Instead, emissions have continued to rise – albeit at a slowing rate – and it will be “impossible” to stay below 1.5C with “no or limited overshoot” without stronger climate action this decade, says the new document, which forms part of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6). IPCC AR6..........Explore Carbon Brief’s coverage of the IPCC’s sixth assessment reports below.WG1......In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s sixth assessment report on climate science......Scientists react: What are the key new insights from the IPCC’s WG1 report? WG2...... In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s sixth assessment on how climate change impacts the world......Scientists react: What are the key new insights from the IPCC’s WG2 report? .....WG3.....In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s sixth assessment on how to tackle climate change It outlines how these emissions cuts could be achieved, including “substantial” reductions in fossil fuel use, energy efficiency, electrification, the rapid uptake of low-emission energy sources – particularly renewables – and the use of alternative energy carriers, such as hydrogen.  Over the past decade, rapid cost reductions in key technologies – such as wind, solar and batteries – mean that continuing to use high-carbon energy may be “more expensive” than the alternatives, the report says. Overall, the economy would benefit from limiting global warming, it adds. Alongside rapid emissions reductions, the report says that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will be “unavoidable” to reach net-zero. For the first time, it devotes a chapter to the “demand-side”, including diets and consumption patterns. Early action and demand-side solutions can minimise the need for CDR and give more time to bring CO2 emissions to net-zero, it says.                                                                                                                   The report follows the publication of the first part of AR6, released in August last year, which set out how and why the Earth’s climate is changing. The second part of AR6, released in February, laid out the impacts of climate change and said the threat being posed to humans and the planet was “unequivocal”. Over the past two weeks, government delegations have been meeting during a two-week approval session to agree on the high-level “summary for policymakers”. The report tracks current efforts to tackle climate change – and what would be needed to limit warming to 1.5C or well-below 2C above pre-industrial temperatures. Its key conclusions include:......Global net anthropogenic [greenhouse gas] GHG emissions during the decade (2010-19) were higher than any previous time in human history (high confidence).”......Although at least 90% of global GHG emissions are covered by climate targets, only 53% are covered by “direct” climate laws........Following current climate pledges to 2030 would make it “impossible” to limit warming to 1.5C with “no or limited overshoot” – and “strongly increas[e] the challenge” for 2C.......“The global economic benefit of limiting warming to 2C is reported to exceed the cost of mitigation in most of the assessed literature (medium confidence).”........In pathways limiting warming to 1.5C with no or limited overshoot, global CO2 emissions peak “at the latest before 2025” and then fall to 48% below 2019 levels in 2030, reaching net-zero by the “early 2050s”. Global GHGs fall 43% by 2030 and 84% by 2050.........All scenarios limiting warming to 2C or below include “greatly reduced” fossil fuel use, with unabated coal being “completely” phased out by 2050.......“The deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to counterbalance hard-to-abate residual emissions is unavoidable if net-zero CO2 or GHG emissions are to be achieved.”.......Accelerated climate action is “critical” to achieving sustainable development.     

UN secretary-general António Guterres said it was a “file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world”. He added:  “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels…[The report] sets out viable, financially sound options [for cutting emissions] in every sector that can keep the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5C alive.”                                                                            In the in-depth Q&A below, Carbon Brief unpacks the key findings of the report. Please use the links to navigate between the sections.......What is the Working Group III report?How have global emissions been changing?......How do current policies and pledges compare to scenarios assessed by the IPCC?.......What would it take to limit warming to 1.5 or 2C?..........How can shifting peoples’ demand for products and services cut emissions?.........What impact can the food system and dietary choices have on emissions?........How must global energy systems change to limit warming?......How does land add to climate change and how can it help soak up CO2?.......What does the report say about CO2 removal and solar geoengineering?........What role can cities and buildings play in cutting emissions?......What needs to happen in the transport sector to cut CO2?.......How can industry be decarbonised?.......What climate policies are being implemented and are they working?........Are the Paris Agreement and climate finance helping cut emissions?.......What are the costs and benefits of efforts to cut emissions?........How much innovation and new technology is needed to hit climate goals?........Will meeting climate goals help or hinder sustainable development?  Read the comprehensive report.......  In-depth Q&A: The IPCC’s sixth assessment on how to tackle climate change - Carbon Brief