Time is running out for our planet

A Landmark UN climate report warns time quickly running out, as scientists warn in a new climate study “The next few years will probably be the most important in our history”.

Temperatures could rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius as soon as 2030 if global warming continues at its current pace and the world fails to take rapid and unprecedented measures to stem the increase, experts warned in a landmark UN report on Monday.

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. The report was finalised at a special meeting in South Korea last week.

Meeting the 1.5C limit would demand “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented change in all aspects of society”, the panel said. Temperatures would be 1.5C higher between 2030 and 2052 if the world continued at its current pace, it warned.

The report triggered calls for policymakers to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, set a price on carbon, and adopt renewable energy and green technologies.

“This report is not a wake-up call, it is a ticking time bomb,” said Gro Harlem Brundtland, Acting Chair of The Elders in a statement. “Climate activists have been calling for decades for leaders to show responsibility and take urgent action, but we have barely scratched the surface of what needs to be done. Further failure would be an unconscionable betrayal of the planet and future generations.”

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