This week the third report in the UN’s massive re-assessment of climate change was released – Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change. Here’s the bottom line:
“In the scenarios we assessed, limiting warming to around 1.5°C (2.7°F) requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030; at the same time, methane would also need to be reduced by about a third. Even if we do this, it is almost inevitable that we will temporarily exceed this temperature threshold but could return to below it by the end of the century.
“‘It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),’ said Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group for this report. ‘Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.’
“The global temperature will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5°C (2.7°F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2°C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s.
“This assessment shows that limiting warming to around 2°C (3.6°F) still requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by a quarter by 2030.”
Note that this is not a report about adapting to global warming, as though it were a uncomfortable nuisance. Rather, it is an urgent plea for mitigating actions, recognising we face an existential threat.