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Now or never: Key UN report on climate emergency signals time is running out for a livable future


The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change culminates six years of work by thousands of scientists with harsh conclusions but hope.

By Evan Bush and Denise Chow -

NBC News

"The possibility of guaranteeing a habitable and sustainable future" for the inhabitants of the Earth "is quickly running out," warns a report by the United Nations (UN) published this Monday that concludes more than six years of work by thousands of of scientists from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

But there is hope, says the study, because the technology needed to adapt to the climate emergency and control harmful emissions is in our hands, and there is a

clear path towards a more sustainable world and a stable climate.  

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“Effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce loss and damage to nature and people, it will also bring other benefits,” IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee said in a statement.

"[The report] demonstrates that if we act now, we can still ensure a sustainable and livable future."

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The think tank concluded that the goal of limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, a key element of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, may already be out of reach. 

More than 190 countries have pledged to strive to reach that mark and avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global warming.

Eight years later, scientists consider that the commitments made leave a "substantial" gap and that it

is "probable" that global warming exceeds that threshold of 2.7 degrees.

More than 93 scientists from around the world contributed to the IPCC report, which does not present new conclusions but offers an up-to-date view of the climate emergency, lists its consequences and guides policy makers as societies try to adapt and transform. 

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To limit warming to 2.7 degrees, greenhouse gas emissions will have to be cut nearly in half by 2030, according to the study. Human-caused climate change has already contributed to a 2 degree Fahrenheit warmer on the planet. above pre-industrial levels.

Manish Bapna, chair of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the IPCC report is an urgent call for global action.

“It is a pure and hard truth, exposed with scientific rigor by the best climate experts in the world.

We are hurtling towards ruin and time is running out to change course

,” Bapna warned in a statement.

Polar bears are observed during a scientific expedition near the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Ocean in Norway on July 23, 2022.Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Concerns over climate justice and accountability for the crisis held the attention over the weekend among scientists and government officials seeking agreement on the report.

Approval of the document was delayed on Sunday as rich and developing countries clashed over deadlines to cut emissions and grant financial aid to those least to blame for the climate crisis and especially vulnerable to its effects, the agency reported. news The Associated Press.

In negotiations held last year in Egypt during the UN climate summit COP27, it was agreed to create a compensation fund, but it remains to be decided who will receive the money.

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The definition of "vulnerable countries", together with the IPCC roadmap, will be topics of discussion at the COP28 meeting in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

This summit will include the first "global balance" of the progress of the countries in reducing emissions and in the application of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The IPCC was created in the late 1980s and is made up of thousands of scientists from 195 member countries who pore over the latest published and peer-reviewed research on global warming and compile the results into a study on the current state of the climate.

This latest summary concludes the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.

The full review consists of four assessments and the UN group conducts a full review cycle every 6-7 years.

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In the first report of this cycle, the IPCC said some climate changes are already being felt, such as warming oceans and rising sea levels, and will be "irreversible for centuries or millennia."

In the second, he said that climate change has caused irreversible changes and will continue to threaten human well-being.

due to heat waves, access to food and increased transmission of infectious diseases, among other problems. 

The scientists presented solutions in the third paper, warning that the world must embrace renewable energy and stop building new infrastructure on fossil fuels.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-20

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