Climate Change: It’s Now or Never

The Latest IPCC Report, What it Means and The Actions We Must Take

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has recently been released. It is the third instalment of six reports, and it notes the serious impacts human behaviour has had on our planet. Whilst there is still hope, we must all act now if we are to save ourselves and the world from climate catastrophe.

Climate Change Graphic

un.org

The report states that greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and can be nearly halved this decade, but only if governments, businesses and individuals put in the huge effort required to do so. Climate scientists have warned that the window for change is narrow and currently, the world is failing to make the changes needed. It is essential that we stay within the 1.5C warming bracket, but unless policies are strengthened and action is taken, temperatures will soar to more than 3C with catastrophic consequences. IPCC reports draw on the work of thousands of climate scientists and take about seven years to compile, meaning this could be our final warning before the world is set on an irreversible path to climate breakdown.

The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, recently stated, “Some governments and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.”

Antonio Guterres Conference on Climate Change

Antonio Guterres © Michael Gottschalk

Watch Guterres’ Speech Here

This report is a defining moment for our planet, emphasising the need for immediate action. However, the report also tells us that we do have the tools we need to reach our goals.

IPCC Working Group 3 Report Found:

  • Coal must be effectively phased out if the world is to stay within 1.5C. Current plans for new fossil fuel infrastructure would cause us to exceed 1.5C.
  • Methane emissions must be reduced by a third.
  • Growing forests and preserving soils is necessary, but tree-planting alone is not enough.
  • Investment in the shift to a low-carbon world is about six times lower than it needs to be.
  • All sectors of the global economy must change drastically and rapidly.

Human changes to the climate are becoming irreversible, and we could see catastrophic impacts if we do not act now. This is the greatest existential threat that humans have ever faced, however, it is not the first. Humans have faced existential threats before and we have overcome them. We have the tools, power and determination needed to stabilise our planet and protect it for generations to come. We have the power to lobby our governments and leaders to create the necessary changes. And, this is what we must do if we are to protect our homes and save ourselves from complete ecological breakdown.

Find your local climate action group

author

Freelance writer, poet, playwright, dramaturg.