Shift away from fossil fuels necessary
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