- A runaway train
- Climate time bomb
- The fast lane of the carbon-intensive super-highway
The most recent IPCC Synthesis Report warns that climate change is a dire and urgent problem that requires immediate and sustained action. The report states climate-related crises are extremely likely to occur, as outlined. The planet has already warmed by 1.1ºC (2ºF), with warming of 1.5 ºC (2.7ºF) expected by 2030, which is a cause for concern. Changes are happening too fast for humans and other species to adapt, which could cause public health concerns such as famine, heat illness, and infectious diseases fueled by climate change.
To address the issue, it is necessary to stop burning fossil fuels, which cause 75% of global GHG emissions. Developed countries should eliminate carbon emissions by 2040 at the latest, and there should be more investment in CCS tech. End-use measures like sustainable diets and minimizing fossil fuel use from flying and driving can have a huge impact. Effective local, municipal, national, and subnational policies are needed, and regulations can force laggards to cut emissions. Companies can achieve cost-effective solutions by implementing efficiency in buildings, transport, and other systems and accelerating the pace of rapid renewable energy deployment.
Barriers to adaptation include a lack of private sector and citizen engagement, lack of political will, low climate literacy, insufficient mobilization of finance, and lack of a sense of urgency. The report calls for immediate and sustained action to address these barriers because climate extremes become more widespread with every bit of additional warming.
- The New York Times, “A Clear Message From Science,” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/20/climate/global-warming-ipcc.html Accessed March 23, 2023
- IPCC, “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023,” https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/ Accessed March 23, 2023