Climate risks require India to rethink its approach

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"One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes", Co-Chair of one of the IPCC Working Groups Panmao Zhai said. "Many land and ocean ecosystems and some of the services they provide have already changed due to global warming (high confidence)". Countries in the southern hemisphere will be among the worse off, the report said.

Henri Waisman, a senior researcher at Paris-based think tank IDDRI and one of 91 report authors, said the report's aim was to set out the types of transformation required as clearly as possible to inform discussions at United Nations climate talks and beyond.

"Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C", the report, launched today in Incheon, South Korea, concludes.

Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050.

'The faster governments phase out coal, embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods will be spared'.

The IPCC report noted the world is rapidly losing any chance to limit average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees, though there is still a theoretical chance if the political will existed.

These are just a few examples taken from a depressingly long list of climate change threats that would be made significantly more risky if the temperature were to rise by 2°C or beyond by the end of the century.

The study was urgent because CO2, the main greenhouse gas, reached record levels in the atmosphere previous year, and current pledges to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement would lead to warming of about 3 deg C.

When the target was put into the Paris Agreement, relatively little was known about the climate risks that would be avoided in a 1.5C warmer world compared with a 2C warmer world, or about the action needed to limit temperature rises to that level.

How are you fighting climate change?
Emissions reductions in all sectors would be needed in order to meet the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement . Natural gas could maintain an 8% share of electricity generation if CCS reduced total global net emissions to zero by 2050.

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A spokeswoman for the state department said the U.S. is "leading the world in providing affordable, abundant, and secure energy to our citizens, while protecting the environment and reducing emissions through job-creating innovation".

"With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC", said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

Another recent report from the consulting firm PwC makes it clear that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C will be a stretch: "There seems to be nearly zero chance of limiting warming to well below two degrees (the main goal of the Paris Agreement), though widespread use of carbon capture and storage technologies, including Natural Climate Solutions, may make this possible", it says.

Preventing an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet, an global panel of scientists reported Sunday.

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India, as will the rest of the world, will continue to experience increasing negative impacts as the temperature rises, albeit much lesser than the calamitous effects of a 2°C warmer planet.

Swiftly reducing emissions - even with carbon removal - will also require unprecedented levels of global cooperation, a particular challenge as some national governments, like that in the United States, look increasingly inward. "It is also expected to drive the loss of coastal resources, and reduce the productivity of aquaculture", the report says. And that would have the side benefit of avoiding more than 100 million premature deaths through this century, the report said.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. Several companies in Canada specialize in capturing Carbon dioxide from industrial emissions.

Former Vice President Al Gore said in his own statement that actions now have to go further than the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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