Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report
“Speed and measures are insufficient”: 1.5 degree limit will be reached by 2035 at the latest
The result is devastating, but not surprising: According to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 1.5 degree limit will be reached by 2035 at the latest. But the worst can still be avoided.
Without drastic reductions in climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions in this decade, the 1.5-degree target for global warming will already be exceeded by the 2030s. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made this clearer than ever in its synthesis report on Monday.
“Climate change is a threat to human well-being and the health of the planet,” says the report presented in Interlaken. The warming is already around 1.1 degrees. Almost half of the world’s population, up to 3.6 billion people, live in regions that are likely to experience particularly severe consequences of climate change.
Actually, the states wanted to prevent a higher increase than 1.5 degrees as far as possible in order to avert even worse effects of global warming. In order for global warming not to exceed 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level (1850-1900) or only temporarily, global CO2 emissions would have to fall by 48 percent by 2030 compared to 2019. However, they are currently rising – after a small decline due to the corona pandemic, things are rising sharply again. For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also gives a target for 2035: minus 65 percent compared to 2019. “The speed and scope of the measures taken so far and the current plans are insufficient to combat climate change,” he summarizes.
Fossil energy promoted more than climate protection
The urgency to do something by 2030 has increased,” said co-author Matthias Garschagen, climate researcher at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. Climate change is progressing faster and the consequences are more severe than initially thought, the report shows. Already now Consequences such as more frequent and severe heat waves, floods and droughts are evident, such as the heat and floods in India and Pakistan in 2022 and the ongoing drought south of the Sahara there could have been up to 43,000 additional deaths.
Even in the two most optimistic scenarios with very significant reductions in emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes that warming will temporarily exceed 1.5 degrees and will do so for several decades. It’s clear why: “Public and private financial flows for fossil fuels are still larger than those for climate adaptation and mitigation,” the report said.
The new document is based on eight reports that thousands of scientists have been working on for a good eight years. It sums up their findings and serves as a basis for action for politicians. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a body made up of 195 member countries. They struggled for days to formulate each word and approved the synthesis report. It’s tedious, but it means they stop questioning the content. Building on this, they want to look this year at how the measures promised so far can be reconciled with climate protection goals (global stocktake). This report shows that the balance sheet will be sobering.
Climate adaptation costs continue to rise
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recalls that the average global surface temperature has risen more since 1970 than in any other 50-year period for at least 2000 years. He emphasizes more than before who will be most harmed: “Vulnerable groups, which in the past have contributed least to the current climate change, are disproportionately affected.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the difference between the estimated costs of the necessary adjustments and the planned financial resources is growing. He points out that rich countries have yet to deliver on their promise of $100 billion a year to the poorest countries. There is enough money globally to quickly reduce the climate-damaging greenhouse gases. Governments must set the right signals by promoting projects and studies, subsidies and framework conditions for investors. “The ball is in politics,” said co-author Oliver Geden.