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UN Says 'Unprecedented Changes' Needed to Combat Global Warming in 12 Years

UN Says 'Unprecedented Changes' Needed to Combat Global Warming in 12 Years

We need to invest in new technology and new training, and we need to ensure access to clean, reliable energy for all to lift even more people out of poverty.

Some of the actions that would be required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius are already underway around the world.

Two of the most intense typhoons on record have hit the city in the last two years - Hato last year and Mangkhut last month. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching "net zero" around 2050. "Limiting warming to 1.5ºC is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented changes", says Jim Skea, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III, in a press statement. The report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday. Their study, on the impacts and possible methods of keeping temperatures from warming by more than 1.5C, has just been launched in South Korea.

Professor Mark Howden said taking action now to reduce global warming was far less risky.

"That means every tonne of Carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere will have to be balanced by a tonne of Carbon dioxide taken out", said lead coordinating author Myles Allen, head of the University of Oxford's Climate Research Programme.

And it just may be enough to save most of the world's coral reefs from dying. "Climate change is significantly contributing to increased heat-related mortality", Times of India quoted the report as saying. The new report explains why going that far is critical, based on a summary of recent research that shows that the impacts at 2 degrees are much worse than previously understood.

The report estimates that sea-level rise in the year 2100 would be around 10 centimeters lower in a 1.5°C world than a 2.0°C world.

The IPCC warns, however, there is a stark difference between 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming. However, by 2°C, it is nearly certainly game over for over 99 percent of the world's coral reefs. He fears that the IPCC report undersells the difficulty of achieving the 1.5 °C goal.

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The report is seen as the main scientific guide for government policymakers on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperatures to "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels, while seeking to tighten the goal to 1.5C.

President Trump announced in June he would pull out of the Paris accord, saying it would put the USA economy at a global disadvantage.

"Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems", said Hans-Otto Portner, a German scientist who co-chaired one of the panel's working groups.

One of the biggest surprises leading up to the 2015 global Paris Agreement on climate-changing emissions was an argument about a new goal. "If the current warming rate continues, the world would reach human-induced global warming of 1.5°C around 2040".

Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaigner Walton Li said Hong Kong possessed one of the largest carbon footprints in the world and had a responsibility to "radically" revise its emissions strategy.

The costs of nuclear power have increased over time in some developed nations, it says, "principally due to market conditions where increased investment risks of high-capital expenditure technologies have become significant".

However, all methods "are at different stages of development and some are more conceptual than others, as they have not been tested at scale", the report warned.

The report also urges individuals to act, such as by reducing consumption of meat and dairy products, driving electric vehicles or taking public transport and demanding and buying low-carbon products. Despite the report's dire warnings, there is no indication such cooperation will be doable, particularly given the Trump administration's stance on this issue.