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The Path To An Unlivable World

The world is on the path of going far past climate change targets unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically cut faster than countries have committed.

The report from The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change practically calls for a revolution in how we use and produce energy around the world.

Here are a few takeaways from the report:

It’s Getting A Little Hot In Here

Governments agreed in the 2015 Paris accord to keep global warming no more than 1.5°C (2.7°F), yet temperatures have already increased 1.1°C (2°F). However, according to the report, if urgent action is not taken, we will fail to limit global warming. Moreover, Greenhouse gas emissions will most likely double warming to approximately 3.2C (5.7°F) by 2100.

They Have Got To Go

For there to be any hope of limiting global warming to 1.5C, coal use must be reduced by 95 percent worldwide. Meanwhile, oil and gas consumption has to be reduced by 60 percent and 45 percent respectively by 2050.

Luckily, for many people, installing new clean energy technology is cheaper than operating the existing fossil fuel energy and is often cheaper than installing a new fossil fuel infrastructure.

For example, from 2010 through 2019 the cost of wind energy has decreased 55 percent, solar energy cost has been cut down by 85 percent. These declines have enabled the widespread deployment of those technologies.

Political Roadblock

Many countries have pledged to reduce rates of deforestation, to have enhanced energy efficiency and to implement clean energy technology, while others promised to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement. However, there are no signs of significant actions taking place.

The report argues that, “on technological and cost considerations alone, mitigation of emissions to limit warming to 1.5°C is feasible.” The real obstacles are, “ politics and power relationships and status-quo interests blocking climate policies, including fossil fuel phaseout. This includes disinformation campaigns that actively seek to undermine faith in climate science.”

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