Climate change: Could changing your lifestyle really make a difference?

“The IPCC report is very clear that government commitments are far from sufficient and will not achieve the Paris Agreement’s warming limit – there needs to be a redoubled effort to increase the level of ambition for 2030”, says Rueanna Haynes, SIDS climate advisor.

“We must have laser focus on delivering on 1.5 degrees and this report provides a pathway to get there”.

“Either we help United Kingdom efforts for meeting the 1.5 degree target, or we sabotage them”.

The report further said that poverty is expected to increase with rise in global warming.

“Even though historically scalability and speed of scaling of nuclear plants have been high in many nations, such rates are now not achieved anymore”.

“There are positive signs that these good conditions will continue in coming decades”, he said, citing a recent industry forecast that annual Asian demand for coal burnt in power plants would jump by half from about 740 million tonnes to 1.147 billion tonnes by 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”.

According to the report, there are two main ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere: increasing natural processes that already do this, and experimental carbon storage or removal technologies.

The week-long meeting in Incheon, South Korea – already deep into overtime – deadlocked on Saturday when oil giant Saudi Arabia demanded the deletion of a passage noting the need for global Carbon dioxide emissions to decline “well before 2030”.

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C reduces risk of rising ocean temperatures and salinity, thereby making marine ecosystems less vulnerable.

The Special Report on Global Warming 1.5C, known as SR15, was produced by the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change report, a United Nations consortium of researchers studying the speed and scope of temperature rise caused by humans.

Australian professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland says: “The report strongly concludes that climate change is already affecting people, ecosystems and livelihood all around the world and that is beyond reasonable doubt that humans are responsible”. Under the 2015 Paris accord, countries agreed to limit the average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees, with a goal of no more than 1.5 degrees.

The Arctic is likely to be ice-free in summer around once a century at 1.5C but at least once a decade if warming climbs to 2C. Coral reefs would decline by a still unsustainable 70 percent to 90 percent instead of being virtually wiped out under the higher increase.

However, the IPCC report’s authors said the world would face severe consequences if the great bulk of fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas, weren’t left in the ground.

“The next few years are probably the most important in our history”, she added. This would require all countries to enhance their existing emission reduction targets under the agreement for the period starting 2020. It would involve upscaling of low-carbon technologies in all carbon-intensive sectors of the economy, energy efficiency and enhancement of carbon sinks for sequestering carbon globally.

That amount, however, must be weighed against the even steeper cost of inaction, the report says.

Climate related-risks in terms of food productivity, crop yields, water stress, health hazards and economic growth will be lower than at 2°C. Countries need to undertake massive de-carbonisation while the developed countries must also address consumption in their countries.

It will require a huge ramp-up in renewables so they generate 70-85% of electricity supplies by 2050, while coal power’s share of the mix tumbles to nearly nothing. To maximise nuclear energy’s contribution electricity markets need to acknowledge these benefits.

More frequent or intense droughts, such as the one that almost ran the taps dry in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as more frequent extreme rainfall events such as hurricanes Harvey and Florence in the United States, are also pointed to as expectations as we reach the warming threshold. It also objected to references to the emissions being reduced in keeping with the principle of equity and fairness.

Temperatures to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030-2052 without rapid steps: UN report