Built environment sector 'must lead the charge against climate change'

Scientists have said the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, will be less extreme if temperature rises are curbed at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels than if they climb to 2C, the UN-backed study said. Limiting global warming to less than 2ºC will hopefully allow ecosystems and animals to adapt to the gradually rising temperatures.

When the target was put into the Paris Agreement, relatively little was known about the climate risks that would be avoided in a 1.5C warmer world compared with a 2C warmer world, or about the action needed to limit temperature rises to that level.

At the current rate of warming, the world as a whole will reach the 1.5° mark between 2030 and 2052, the report concludes.

For those who believed limiting warming to 2°C was a bit ambitious, a 1.5°C target seems to be a tremendous stretch considering we're almost there.

Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III Jim Skea said.

"There will be 420 million people less suffering because of climate change if we would be able to limit the warming to 1.5°C level and we have certain areas in the world which are extremely sensitive", Mr. Taalas said.

While coral reefs could decline 70% to 90% with 1.5C of warming, virtually all the world's reefs would be lost at 2C, while far more creatures and plants across the world face losing a large part of their range.

Moreover, if global temperatures were to exceed the mark temporarily, then, additional carbon removal techniques would be required to return warming to below 1.5℃ by 2100.

The lower target would also reduce species loss and extinction and the impact on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, the report said.

The report claims it's possible to meet the new warming target, provided nations together take "rapid and far reaching" transitions over next 10 to 20 years in land use, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities to cut emissions and reach "net zero" around 2050 - 25 years earlier than what they planned under the earlier 2-degree goal.

"It's a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now", Debra Roberts, cochair of a working group on the impacts of climate change, tells The Guardian.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments.

"This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people's needs".

Reports from the IPCC, an worldwide body that assesses climate change established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, carry a lot of weight.

Why limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is crucial?

The world is experiencing around 1C of warming and floods, storms and heat waves like the one experienced by the United Kingdom this summer have become increasingly likely as a result of climate change, according to experts. He said the long-awaited findings show that "climate change is running faster than we are - and we are running out of time". The Paris-based institution envisioned coal maintaining 6% share of the power generation market and gas 16% by 2040 under one pathway that's compatible with 2 degrees of warming.

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  • Joe Gonzales