Back

UN warns paradigm shift needed to avert global climate chaos

(EBC; October 08,2018) - Avoiding global climate chaos will require a major transformation of society and the world economy, the UN said today in a landmark report that warns time is running out to avert disaster.

Earth's surface has warmed one degree Celsius -- enough to lift oceans and unleash a crescendo of deadly storms, floods and droughts -- and is on track toward an unlivable 3C or 4C rise.

At current levels of greenhouse gas emissions, we could pass the 1.5C marker as early as 2030, and no later than mid-century, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reported.

A Summary for Policymakers of the 400-page tome underscores how quickly global warming has outstripped humanity's attempt to tame it, and outlines options for avoiding the worst ravages of a climate-addled future.

"Now it is over to governments -- it's their responsibility to act on it." Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London's Centre for Environmental Policy and an IPCC co-chair, said at a press conference.

Before the Paris Agreement was inked in 2015, nearly a decade of scientific research rested on the assumption that 2C was the guardrail for a climate-safe world.

The IPCC report, however, shows that global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.

Limiting global warming to 1.5C comes with a hefty price tag: some $2.4 trillion (2.1 trillion euros) of investments in the global energy system every year between 2016 and 2035, or about 2.5 percent of world GDP.