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Giving Compass' Take:
• Responding to the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Fast Company sounds a note of hope that progress is still possible — but it will take an enormous commitment from everyone.
• Locally-driven policies and initiatives are a start (even if a national commitment to curbing emissions is far off), while our collaborative energy needs to increase fast over the next few decades.
To have the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, the world needs to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius — and to do that, society needs to completely transform over the next three decades, according to a new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Global CO2 emissions may need to peak around 2020. By midcentury, we have to reach net zero emissions.
The report explains why it’s so important that we meet the 1.5 degree target, and how difficult that will be to accomplish. The changes required, from energy to agriculture, are “unprecedented in terms of scale,” the group writes in a summary for policymakers. And right now, we’re not anywhere close to the path to make it happen.
“The reality is that we’re very off track from where we need to be,” says Rachel Cleetus, policy director for the Climate and Energy Program at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, who was not involved with the new report. If our current emissions rates hold, we’ll reach 1.5 degrees C of warming by 2030.
If every country fulfills the pledges it made for the Paris agreement in 2015, the world may still warm 2.6 to 3.2 degrees C by the end of the century, by some estimates. The Paris agreement committed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees, and pursue the even harder goal to limit it to 1.5 degrees. The new report explains why going that far is critical, based on a summary of recent research that shows that the impacts at 2 degrees are much worse than previously understood.
Read the full article about why we need action on climate change now by Adele Peters at fastcompany.com.