First published in Fortune.
According to the report, the global population would need to take dramatic action in terms of how it generates energy, and grows food, among other changes, if it wants to effectively limit the extreme rise in global temperatures. But one author of the report, Drew Shindell, a Duke University climate scientist, also says “we are nowhere near on track to doing that.”
Shindell told the Guardian that reaching the 1.5C target would require a sharp drop in greenhouse gas emissions; and for emissions from cars, trucks, and planes to be eradicated.
Even just considering the monetary cost of climate change, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate says that becoming more sustainable on a global scale would save $26 trillion by 2030, Vox reported earlier this month.
But time is running out, and climate change poses a serious threat to the global population. A global climate beyond 1.5C warming would make the Arctic ice-free in the summer months, and we would see a rise in deadly heatwaves, Dr. Tabea Lissner, who heads adaptation and vulnerability at Climate Analytics, told the Guardian.
Global leaders would have to take drastic action quickly, and the next four to 12 years are crucial.
“We have many priorities in the UN – peace and security, human rights, and development,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday at the Informal Leaders Dialogue on Climate Change. “But I would say that [climate change] is the absolute priority.” Guterres added, “We need to do more and we need to do it quicker: we need more ambition and accelerated action by 2020.”
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