The world's climate scientists have issued what one expert said is a "final warning" before global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- The IPCC says it's "unequivocal" that climate is changing as a result of human activity
- At present, between 3.3 and 3.6 billion people are living in places "highly vulnerable" to climate change
- Meanwhile, the UN has called on developed countries to phase out coal by 2030
"The climate time-bomb is ticking," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which this week released its final "synthesis report", marking six years of work by about 700 scientists.
"Today’s IPCC report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb," he said. "It is a survival guide for humanity."
Representatives of 195 countries negotiated an agreed text for the summary report, after assessing tens of thousands of scientific studies.
Haven't we seen a lot of IPCC reports already?
The report, known as the AR6, is a synthesis of six other reports by the IPCC — taking enormous amounts of data and simplifying it so policymakers inside and outside governments can use it.
As you can probably guess, there's not a lot of good news.
However, the scientists say there is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and every bit of carbon pollution makes a difference.
The authors concluded:
- It was now "unequivocal" that climate is changing as a result of human activity, and that it is a threat to human societies and the natural world
- Climate change is already making extreme weather events more frequent — with 3.3 to 3.6 billion people living in places “highly vulnerable” to these changes
- Cuts to emissions need to be "deep, rapid and sustained" if the world is to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this decade
- If warming goes above that, adaptation will likely be too much for some communities and ecosystems to survive.
UPDATE - Thank you Underminder!