Net Zero targets must be brought forward by a decade to stop the “climate time bomb”, the UN has said at the launch of a major new climate change report. The Telegraph has more.
Rising emissions in recent years mean cuts in the next two decades will have to be more extreme than current plans, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.
An 80% global reduction in CO2 emissions is needed to limit warming to 1.5°C, the upper aim of the Paris Agreement, its new report says.
But the UN said richer countries must move faster than developing nations, by “super-charging” their Net Zero goals and helping poorer countries cut their own emissions.
The U.K., like most other developed nations, has set a target for Net Zero emissions by 2050, and its climate change advisers have said getting there quicker will “stretch feasibility”.
Speaking at the launch of the report on Monday, Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said “humanity is on thin ice – and that ice is melting fast”.
“The climate time bomb is ticking,” he said, and added that the 1.5°C limit was “achievable”, but would require a “quantum leap in climate action”.
Developed countries should “commit to reaching Net Zero as close as possible to 2040” while emerging countries, including China and India, should aim for 2050.
The U.K.’s climate change committee, which advises the Government on its Net Zero goal, has modelled a way to reach the target by 2042.
It includes a 50% reduction in meat and dairy consumption, a 15% cut in air passenger levels compared with pre-pandemic levels, and the widespread acceptance of heat pumps in homes.
The committee said it was a “highly optimistic scenario, stretching feasibility in a wide range of areas”.
Chris Jones, from the Met Office Hadley Centre, and a co-author of the report said the scale of the global challenge was “massive”.
“In 2020, during the Covid lockdowns, CO2 emissions dropped by about 6%,” he said. “So we need to achieve that year-on-year for the rest of this decade, and obviously we can’t do that by locking people down.”
Worth reading in full.
Here we go: ratchet up the fear and alarm to accelerate the abandonment of cheap, plentiful, reliable energy and the standard of living it creates for billions in favour of expensive and unreliable renewables that will hold development back in much of the world and keep people in poverty.