Saturday, 20 October, 2018


India highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, say experts on United Nations report

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja READ MOREMinister rejects Paris accord designer's concerns Australia will miss climate targets
Kristine Garrett | 10 October, 2018, 14:42

The 1.5-degree scenario will require cutting Carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 45 percent over the 20-year period from 2010 to 2030 and to a net zero by 2050-net zero meaning that all Carbon dioxide released will need to be captured and stored or reused.

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 not-so-great news? They need to accelerate.

Very - the report calls for "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

"What I hope this report will do is change the discourse on mitigation, with countries understanding mitigation not as a burden but as an opportunity", said Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, vice-chair of the Working Group III.

Coral reefs would decline by 70 per cent to 90 per cent at 1.5 deg C, whereas virtually all would be lost at 2 deg C.

Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group says, "We've told you the scientific facts, the evidence, the cost, it is up to the governments now to decide what to do with it". In 2015, when the nations of the world agreed to the historic Paris climate agreement, they set dual goals: 2 degrees C and a more demanding target of 1.5 degrees C from pre-industrial times.

To provide sufficient incentive to reduce carbon emissions that quickly would require a carbon tax of $27,000, the report estimates-almost double the current price of emitting a ton of carbon under California's cap-and-trade program. "The next few years are probably the most important in our history".

Johnny Chan Chung-leung, director of City University's Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, said laws - rather than targets - that mandated a certain ratio of renewables in the power mix by a certain date were also necessary.

This one-two punch poses a powerful call to action: maybe the combination of messages can motivate change where the consensus of 97% of global climate change research scientists has failed to achieve action in line with the Paris Accord. The limited temperature increase would result in the saving of at least some of the world's coral reefs, a key ecosystem supporting global fisheries.

Developing nations and least developed countries have been asking developed nations, particularly the United States, to take historical and moral responsibility for being one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters. While its approaches have been identified before-including last year's Well Under 2C study that we co-chaired with over 30 experts-the IPCC report should be a rallying point for nations to implement the policies needed to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The IPCC report makes clear for the first time that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees requires cutting short-lived super climate pollutions-black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons-along with carbon dioxide, as well as learning how to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at scale.

"The report shows that we only have the slimmest of opportunities remaining to avoid unthinkable damage to the climate system that supports life as we know it", said Amjad Abdulla, the IPCC board member and chief negotiator for an alliance of small island states at risk of flooding as sea levels rise.

But meeting the more ambitious goal of slightly less warming would require immediate, draconian cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases and dramatic changes in the energy field. We shall wait and see how much of the world takes up the challenge.

"Many parts of the world will see mean temperature increases that, in time, will be higher than 1.5°C, including the South West of Western Australia", Dr Kala said.

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