Trump expresses suspicion about United Nations climate report

Clark Diaz
October 13, 2018

In a report recently published by the United Nations' (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it predicted a bleak future for the entire world with increasing food shortages and large masses of coral reefs dying off within the next 22 years. Governments must also work transform their infrastructure, the report's authors warn.

It was Trump's first reaction to the report, which says that the Earth surface has warmed one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and is on track toward an unliveable 3C or 4C rise. To keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, the IPCC report says that human emissions of carbon dioxide must fall dramatically: by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and to "net zero" around 2050.

"Every extra bit of warming matters", Hans-Otto Pörtner of the IPCC said in a news release.

European Union governments must respond to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report with appropriately ambitious conclusions at the Environment Council meeting in Luxembourg today. "CDR is needed less in pathways with particularly strong emphasis on energy efficiency and low demand".

Such a target could then inform other key climate measures including the accelerated growth in renewable energy, the transition to electric vehicles and improvements in energy efficiency within buildings.

"Bringing such technologies and processes to commercial deployment requires significant investment in research and development".

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The report acknowledges that CCS will play a crucial role in decarbonising industry especially those with higher process emissions, such as cement, iron and steel industries.

The aim is to make the report as clear as possible while still scientifically robust - and to ensure that everybody is behind the document.

The report said recent projections of the potential impacts of climate change on malaria globally and for Asia, Africa, and South America confirm that weather and climate are among the drivers of the geographic range, intensity of transmission, and seasonality of malaria, and that the relationships are not necessarily linear, resulting in complex patterns of changes in risk with additional warming.

"These are sectors that can not be turned off at the flick of a switch".

"Parties and governments that actually understand the science and believe in action need to be more courageous than they're being", he said.

However, that changed in 2017 with a 1.4 per cent increase in emissions from China.

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Transportation: In order to meet the 1.5C goal, the IPCC envisages a future where people travel less, and that generally consumer preferences shift to more sustainable choices like auto sharing and hybrid and electric cars. The IPCC recognises the challenges are "unprecedented in scale" but notes, for example, "the feasibility of solar energy, wind energy and electricity storage mechanisms have substantially improved over the past few years".

Methane - which makes up much of this country's greenhouse gas inventory, and mostly sourced from agriculture - would have to halved globally by 2040, when carbon dioxide must be about a quarter of its 2020 emissions.

One way to do this would be to put "net zero emissions" at the heart of the EU's strategy for long-term emissions reduction to reflect the EU's worldwide leadership role in climate action and encourage more businesses to unlock the capital and ambition to change their modus operandi.

"The second is the unprecedented nature of the changes that are required if we are to limit warming to 1.5C - changes to energy systems, changes to the way we manage land, changes to the way we move around with transportation".

"Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds".

"Even at a little over 1.0 C warming, India is being battered by the worst climate extremes - it is clear that the situation at 1.5 C is going to worsen". It is also likely to galvanise even stronger climate action by focussing on 1.5C, rather than two degrees, as a target that the world can not afford to miss. And I want to look at who drew it.

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