‘Code Red for Humanity’ the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) Sixth Assessment Report published Monday.
“Unless there are immediate rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5C will be beyond reach.”
- Abdalah Mokssit, secretary of the IPCC -
We've already heated the planet to 1.1C above pre-industrial levels, and it's humankind that's responsible for climate change – no more doubt about it.
We will reach 1.5C of heating in the next 20 years.
Baked-in effects of the accumulation of greenhouse gases mean that even if we slash emissions immediately, heating will continue.
Incalculable loss of life is in the post, through extreme weather events and wildfires, disruption to food and water supplies due to drought, floods and heat waves, as well as loss of human habitat from rising sea levels, floods and desertification.
In Madagascar, a country that produces just 0.01% of global emissions, climate change has led to a catastrophic drought; parents are feeding ash and leaves to their children, and as many as 500,000 are marching towards starvation.
Fiji is battered by the twin towers of cyclones and rising sea levels, with 45 different living areas that need relocating to higher ground due to the higher sea level. And then there are the tragic wildfires in Greece and Turkey.
Some changes such as sea level rises are irreversible. Coastal areas will see continued sea level rise throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion.
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