The third report in the latest series of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) climate change reports was released yesterday. In simple terms, it focuses on practical ways to meet the 1.5c degree temperature limit.
The main takeaway is that we need to peak in terms of our carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. And then we immediately need to start to force those emissions down.
By the rate of our current carbon emissions, we're heading for a 3.2c temperature rise which would be catastrophic for life on earth as we know it.
So what are the positives that we can take away? Crucially, we can all still make an impact. And there's a small amount of time to get things done. According to the report, we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the 2030s, aiming for net-zero CO2 emissions by the 2050s.
Solutions to the Climate Crisis
In general there are lots of solutions that will need to be done together to really make a difference and to limit global temperature rise.
These include: switching to renewable energy, cutting fossil fuels, planting sustainable 'carbon capture' forests and other crops like seagrass. Even then we might still require the help of machines to remove carbon dioxide from the air.
We'll try to stay positive, because change is possible. Of course we can all do things like fly less, eat less meat and try to reduce our consumption of brand new goods whether they're electricals, cars or clothes.
But, part of encouraging people to change their behaviours, i.e to drive less is governments and local councils adapting the roads and infrastructure where we live so that cycling or walking to work is safer, and buses and trains are more accessible.
Another positive is that renewable energy is becoming cheaper. Solar panels are now 85% cheaper per unit on average versus 2010. Wind power is also becoming less expensive.
Ten Positives - A Quick Summary of the IPCC Mitigation Report
- We can still do something about climate change
- There's still enough time to stick to the 1.5c degree rise
- There are many solutions to limit the effects of global temperature rise
- Individual actions can make a difference
- Big companies, international organisations, as well as governments and councils can make an even bigger, structural difference
- Investing in expensive climate solutions now will save more than massive ecological damage in the near future
- Renewables, like solar panels, are getting cheaper
- We can plant trees and other plants to capture greenhouse gases
- The report strongly urges a cut in fossil fuels, instead opting for renewables
- Technology can still help us out - e.g special machines that can filter the air
- The bottom line: It's never too late, we can make difference!