The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just published the final section of their three-part climate assessment. It may be the most controversial section yet. The previous two (published in February and August) dealt with the ways the climate is changing and the catastrophic effects of this. The last section outlines the necessary changes that humans must make in order to secure a livable planet.
This latest IPCC report makes it unmistakably clear: it is possible to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As the chair of the IPCC said: “We are at a crossroads. This is the time for action. We have the tools and know-how to limit warming and secure a livable future.” However, this requires a complete overhaul of how our society is structured: from housing and transportation structures, to agricultural systems, productive systems, and more.
The report stresses that we have less than three years to halve emissions and keep the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Even this threshold presents huge crisis scenarios that will devastate billions of people’s lives around the world. However, as the report stresses, we can avoid the worst case scenarios and we do still have time – we just can’t afford to continue on the current path!
“It’s now or never… Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible,” according to an energy expert at Imperial College London and a co-chair of the IPCC report. So we must make changes in every single sector, through a coordinated international effort, if we want to prevent the worst climate catastrophes.
And we know that the politicians of the world are not going to make the changes we need. They’ve helped lead us into this mess! Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the U.N., said the report documented a “litany of broken climate promises. Some government & business leaders are saying one thing, but doing another. They are lying. It is time to stop burning our planet.” So if we want to save the world we know, it’s going to be because of what we do. The time to organize is now.