IPCC report puts focus on clean energy mix

8th October 2018 | Commercial Energy

A global drive to limit global warming was called for today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The study will be a key document for governments attending the COP24 climate talks in Poland in December. The report suggests that if global warming could be limited to 1.5⁰C compared to 2⁰C or more, the rise in global sea levels would be 10cm lower and the likelihood of the Arctic Ocean being free of sea ice during summer would occur just once a century rather than once a decade.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5⁰C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pӧrtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.


Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds, added Pӧrtner. The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5⁰C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be. “The good news is that some of the kinds of actions that would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5⁰C are already underway around the world, but they would need to accelerate,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I.

The report finds that limiting global warming to 1.5⁰C would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. “Limiting warming to 1.5⁰C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said the IPCC report “aims to create urgency in our response to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have technological knowledge to dramatically reduce emissions – we now require the leadership to make tough decisions on regulations for energy efficiency and emissions that may not be politically popular.”

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