23 Oct 2018

With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society. Read on to find out more…

Background of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their new report
Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. The IPCC is the leading world body for assessing the science related to climate change, its impacts and potential future risks, and possible response options.

Read the report in full or summary versions by clicking on the link below:
Global Warming of 1.5 °C; an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty

What are the main headlines of the report?

  • Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of 0.8°C to 1.2°C. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
  • Warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions and seasons, including two to three times higher in the Arctic. Warming is generally higher over land than over the ocean.
  • Trends in intensity and frequency of some climate and weather extremes have been detected over time spans during which about 0.5°C of global warming. This assessment is based on several lines of evidence, including attribution studies for changes in extremes since 1950.
  • Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.
  • With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society

Is it too late? In short, not quite…

"The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5ºC are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate," said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I.

"The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future," said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, "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. The next few years are probably the most important in our history."

What does this all mean and what can be done about it?
To help explain the potential impacts of different levels of global warming and how people can take action to reduce climate risks, the WWF has put together this infographic (below) and webpage on 'Our Warming World: How Much Difference Will Half-a-Degree Really Make?'

Climate Risks 1.5 Vs 2 - WWF

Tackling Climate Change Guide - Front Cover

Want to know more about Climate Change and the implications for your organisation and stakeholders?

The third sector has huge potential to tackle both the causes and consequences of climate change. It is uniquely placed to reach and support people, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Our 'Tackling Climate Change' webpages and resource 'A Third Sector Guide to Climate Change' will help you understand what climate change is about, where to find support to help you manage your climate risks, and how to make better decisions for a changing future.


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Zero Carbon Britain - Raising Ambition Report

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