New Delhi, Sep 27: Governments have been handed a firm mandate to act decisively on the climate crisis by a new report released today by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IGPCC), according to 850 NGOs organised in the Climate Action Network.
The first installment of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report – which has been signed off by nations after its summary was negotiated line by line in Stockholm this week – said it was more certain than ever before that human activities were responsible for climate change.
And for the first time, the IPCC gives a global budget for the total amount of carbon pollution that cannot be exceeded if we are to meet the international goal of preventing devastating levels of global warming that will occur beyond 2 degrees Celsius.
That figure is 1 trillion tonnes. But Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia, warned that polluters have already burnt through half of this, and without equitable allocations and concrete actions by governments, with poverty eradication goals to be achieved, the entire budget will be exhausted within 30 years.
“The situation at hand requires immediate action. Climate impacts are continuing to mount, and we need to reduce pollution levels quickly and drastically,” he added.
The IPCC report confirms that the planet is heating up, sea level rise is accelerating, the rate of Arctic sea ice retreat has doubled, the melting of glaciers and ice sheets is happening faster, and the oceans are acidifying. “This report shows that the science on climate change is clear. The debate about who is responsible is over. It is time that governments take action to address this issue in an effective manner, and not through half-hearted efforts,” Vashist said.
Suruchi Bhadwal, Associate Director of The Earth and Resources Institute (TERI) commented that advancement in science and new sets of scenarios will improve our understanding on the regional, national, local level impacts and vulnerabilities that are likely, and that it will further enhance our understanding and confidence levels.
Governments should use the report as the backbone of a climate plan to dramatically reduce emissions, and flick the switch to renewable energy, thereby securing a safer, fairer and happier future for the world.
Representatives of the world’s governments will be in Warsaw in November for the major climate negotiations of the year. They should ensure this report is in their luggage and informs their negotiating positions.
The report will be integral to countries who have been asked by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to bring “strong pledges” to a summit on climate action next Sep mber – ahead of the 2015 conference. (ANI)