Shift away from fos­sil fu­els nec­es­sary

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS WORLD -

THERE is a “very high risk” that the most am­bi­tious global-warm­ing limit set in the Paris cli­mate agree­ment is likely to be ex­ceeded by the 2040s, ac­cord­ing to a draft United Na­tions re­port.

Only a dra­matic and un­prece­dented shift away from fos­sil fu­els would en­able world gov­ern­ments to limit warm­ing to 1.5 de­grees above pre-in­dus­trial times, it said.

Hit­ting this tar­get would “in­volve re­moval of car­bon diox­ide from the at­mos­phere”, said the re­port com­piled by sci­en­tists on the UN’s In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change.

How­ever, the panel said the doc­u­ment was a draft

only and “the text can change sub­stan­tially” be­tween the cur­rent draft and the fi­nal ver­sion.

The fi­nal ver­sion is due to be re­leased in Oc­to­ber. Pro­fes­sor Nigel Ar­nell, a cli­mate sci­en­tist at the Univer­sity of Read­ing who led that study, said the 1.5 de­grees tar­get was chal­leng­ing.

“If we achieve this tar­get then we can avoid be­tween 60 and 95 per cent of the ad­verse im­pacts of cli­mate change than we could oth­er­wise see,” he said.

The IPCC re­port was com­mis­sioned to de­ter­mine the like­li­hood of hit­ting these set tem­per­a­ture tar­gets.

Pre­vi­ous re­search has sug­gested the 1.5 de­grees goal was un­likely, with some pre­dict­ing it could be ex­ceeded within the com­ing decade.

If we achieve this tar­get then we can avoid be­tween 60 and 95 per cent of the ad­verse im­pacts of cli­mate change. — Cli­mate sci­en­tist Pro­fes­sor Nigel Ar­nell

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