UN report on warming puts countries in a spot

Diplomats gathering in South Korea on Monday found themselves in the awkward position of vetting and validating a major UN scientific report that underscores the failure of their governments to take stronger action on climate. “This will be one of the most important meetings in IPCC history,” Hoesung Lee, chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told delegates at the opening plenary in Incheon. The special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels began as a request from the 195 nations that inked the Paris Agreement in 2015. That landmark pact called for capping the rise in global temperature to “well-below” 2 degrees Celsius, and invited countries to submit voluntary national plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To the surprise of many — especially scientists, who had based nearly a decade of research on the assumption that 2 degrees Celsius was the politically acceptable guardrail for a climate-safe world — the treaty also called for a good-faith effort to cap warming at the lower threshold. At the same time, countries asked the IPCC to detail what a “1.5 degrees Celsius” world would look like, and how hard it might be to prevent a further rise in temperature. “Unfortunately, we are already well on the way to the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, and the sustained warming trend shows no sign of relenting,” Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, said. Three years and many drafts later, the answer has come in the form of a 400-page report that delivers a stark, double-barrelled message: 1.5 degrees Celsius is enough to unleash climate mayhem, and the pathways to avoiding an even hotter world require a swift and complete transformation not just of the global economy, but of society too. With only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has seen a climate-enhanced crescendo of deadly heatwaves, wild fires and floods, along with superstorms swollen by rising seas.

Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/un-report-on-warming-puts-countries-in-a-spot/article25100820.ece

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