If the fight against climate change were like a stopwatch, time would already be up. Without an immediate and drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors, it will definitely be impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era. Keeping this goal within reach, the most ambitious of the Paris agreement adopted in 2015, means reaching a peak in emissions no later than 2025, before a decline in all areas.
The changes to be made are important and involve a significant reduction in fossil fuels, an increase in renewable energies, energy efficiency and electrification, changes in lifestyles, a substantial increase in financing and aid for technological innovation. These are the main conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published this Monday, April 4, in the third and last part of its sixth evaluation report, whose synthesis is scheduled for September.
This work completes a trilogy of disasters that details the state of scientific knowledge on climate change. the first chapter, published in August 2021, highlighted the acceleration of global warming, which is worsening everywhere, at unprecedented levels, with risks of tipping points. the second, end of Februarydescribed the increasingly devastating, widespread and now often irreversible impacts of climate change on people and ecosystems, as well as increasingly costly and difficult adaptation. The third report, prepared by 278 researchers from 65 countries, based on the analysis of 18,000 scientific studies, details the range of solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, making it the most political chapter.
Their “Summary for Policymakers”, a condensed version of the 3,000+ page scientific report, negotiated over two weeks, line by line and word for word, by representatives of the 195 IPCC member countries, in collaboration with the authors . who keeps the last word, was completed more than forty-eight hours late. A record since the creation of the UN body in 1988.
The blockades focused on the reduction of fossil fuels, the role of technologies, equity issues and above all finances, according to observers. Developed countries, led by the United States, were particularly reluctant to include mention of the significant financial flows developing countries would need to reduce their emissions. Saudi Arabia, for its part, has tried to tone down messages about using fossil fuels.
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