‘Act now’: IPCC issues stark (and final) climate warning to governments
March 20 2023
Author : Jon Quirk
Final warning, humanity. Act now on the climate crisis or it will be too late.
Sorry folks, we know it’s not the Monday morning pep talk you were probably after, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just published the final instalment of its humongous and landmark sixth assessment report and the reading is not pretty.
Spoiler alert: it’s about climate change.
Despite 30 years of warnings – the IPCC published its first report in 1990 – and the backing of thousands of the world’s leading climate scientists, looking the other way doesn’t seem to have made global warming disappear. Who knew?
Now, and thanks entirely to human-induced activity, we’re on a collision course towards irrevocable damage.
So what does the report say?
This final instalment, called the synthesis report, is bursting with scary-yet-true information and reads like a last chance saloon for humanity to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and maintain our vital ecosystems.
Temperatures are already around 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and if the world continues on its current trajectory, the IPCC reckons we’re set to use up our remaining carbon budget before the end of the decade.
There is no new science in the synthesis report; it’s more a recap of the major ‘we told you so’ findings of the previous publications that governments across the globe have struggled to convert into any meaningful action.
We’re now being forced to rapidly and dramatically rethink the sort of energy we use for industry, agriculture, our homes and our cars. But what remains abundantly clear is that we need to stop burning stuff.
Richard Allan, a professor of climate science at the University of Reading, was a contributor to the most recent IPCC reports. Speaking at last week’s GRIDSERVE Connect summit, he said: “Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees requires immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Electric vehicles have lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, so there is a growing need for systematic infrastructure changes that will enable this behavioural modification. The infrastructure that GRIDSERVE is providing will help drive that change.”
We’re hopefully demonstrating that businesses don’t have to choose between success today or success tomorrow; it can be both. Electric vehicles can be fun to drive, cheap to run and environmentally friendly.
The next IPCC report isn’t due to be published before 2030, which makes this sixth report the most comprehensive study we have on climate change and a seminal work for our generation. What humanity decides to do with it will determine our fate for millennia.