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Not too late

UN report to lay out the last-ditch choices still open to the world to stop the climate crisis

The latest IPCC report will likely emphasise the impetus on the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions to save the planet.

A REPORT BY hundreds of scientists being published this afternoon will lay bare the choices that are still open to the world to stop the climate crisis.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its findings today on progress made to limit emissions and the mitigation options available in different sectors.

The new report will likely emphasise the impetus on the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions to save the planet from the climate crisis.

It’s the third and final part of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report (AR6), which has compiled and assessed the newest climate science to give policymakers an up-to-date picture of the current position, which it says is increasingly perilous.

The IPCC’s work is done by hundreds of scientists and then approved by governments around the world. 

Over the last two weeks, the details of the report’s summary for policymakers were finalised over video conferences before its release, alongside the full report, to the public later today. 

The process, which was due to end on Friday, stretched into the weekend and only reached a conclusion late yesterday evening. 

The report’s release, which was scheduled for this morning, has been pushed to 4pm.

Ahead of the deliberations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the world is “sleepwalking to climate catastrophe”.

Speaking at a sustainability conference in London, he said the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which requires a 45% drop in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, is already “on life support”.

“The problem is getting worse,” Guterres said.

“If we continue with more of the same, we can kiss 1.5C goodbye. Even two degrees may be out of reach.”

He warned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could derail climate action as importers turn to other fossil fuel sources in efforts to try to replace Russian oil and gas.

The first report of the cycle, published back in August 2021, covered the physical science of climate change.

It outlined that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was higher in 2019 than any other time in at least two million years and that the scale of recent changes to the climate system are unprecedented.

Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan said the report showed that “doing nothing is not an option and that the “science is unequivocal that if we don’t make these changes”, the “consequences of not bringing our emissions down” would be drastic.

And the second report, which focused on climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation, came out a little over a month ago.

It explained how climate change is disrupting people’s lives in multiple ways across various regions of the world.

People and ecosystems that are least able to cope with the impacts of climate change are already being hit the hardest, it found.

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