Window for humanity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees getting smaller, UN says 'climate time-bomb is ticking'

Window for humanity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees getting smaller, UN says 'climate time-bomb is ticking'

India welcomed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Synthesis Report, saying it endorses the country's call for equity and climate justice.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 10:30 AM IST
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The world is very likely to miss the most important climate target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels but drastic and urgent action in this decade can prevent it, a UN panel on climate change said in a report on Monday.

India welcomed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Synthesis Report, saying it endorses the country's call for equity and climate justice.

The Synthesis Report is a summary of all the reports the IPCC produced since 2015 on the reasons and consequences of global temperature rise due to anthropogenic emissions.

Releasing the report, the body of the world's leading climate scientists said keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels requires deep, rapid and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors.

'Humanity is on thin ice'

"A resilient, liveable future is still available to us, but actions taken in this decade to deliver deep, rapid and sustained emissions cuts represent a rapidly narrowing window for humanity to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius with minimal or no overshoot. If we delay action, losses and damages will rise, and additional human and natural systems will reach adaptation limits," it said.

"Humanity is on thin ice - and that ice is melting fast... The climate time-bomb is ticking. But today's IPCC report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb. It is a survival guide for humanity. The 1.5-degree limit is achievable. But it will take a quantum leap in climate action," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a video address.

"This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once," he said.

Target for rich countries to reach net zero by 2040

Guterres urged rich countries to reach net zero by 2040 and developing countries to aim for 2050. He called for phasing out of coal by 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 elsewhere.

"The Synthesis Report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all," IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said.

Approved during a week-long session in Interlaken, Switzerland, the report underlined that the "10 per cent of households with the highest emissions per person contribute 34 45 per cent of all household emissions, while the bottom 50 per cent contribute just 13 to 15 per cent."

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said the report echoes the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mission LiFE' (lifestyle for environment) which calls for a global mass movement for inducing behavioural changes focused on "mindful and deliberate utilization" of resources.

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