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Paris (AFP)- UN climate experts are set to release what should be the definitive guide to halting global warming on Monday, in a report that outlines how societies and economies must transform to ensure a “livable” future.
As the war in Ukraine spurs an urgent energy overhaul in the West, analysts say the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will also be an important resource for countries seeking to quickly move away from Russian oil and gas.
In recent months, the IPCC has released the first two installments in a trilogy of mammoth scientific assessments covering how greenhouse gas pollution is warming the planet and what that means for life on Earth.
This third report will describe what needs to be done about it.
But this response has far-reaching political ramifications, as climate solutions touch virtually every aspect of modern life and require significant investment.
Two weeks of grueling negotiations have seen nearly 200 countries struggle to draft a line-by-line high-level “summary for policymakers” that distills the hundreds of pages of underlying assessment.
This meeting was supposed to end on Friday, but lasted all weekend. The IPCC assessment was originally due to be released publicly at 09:00 GMT on Monday, but that is now expected to be delayed until later today.
“Everyone has something to lose and everyone has something to gain,” a person familiar with the process said.
Easy answers are unlikely, with the IPCC set to detail the need for transformational changes in energy production and industry, as well as cities, transport and food systems.
To save the world from the worst ravages of climate change, the report should also warn that reducing carbon dioxide pollution is no longer enough.
And technologies that don’t yet work on a large scale will need to be developed enormously to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.
A 1.5°C cap on global warming – the ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris climate accord – has been adopted as a goal by most nations around the world.
Just 1.1°C of warming so far has sparked a devastating wave of deadly extreme weather across the globe.
UN chief Antonio Guterres warned last month that major economies are letting carbon pollution rise when drastic cuts are needed.
“We are sleepwalking to climate catastrophe,” he said.
In February, the IPCC report on the past, present and future impacts and vulnerabilities of climate change detailed what Guterres called an “atlas of human suffering”.
The report concluded that further delays in reducing carbon pollution and preparing for impacts already underway “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all”.
Current national carbon reduction commitments still put the world on a catastrophic trajectory towards 2.7°C warming by 2100.
“How much more destruction do we need to witness, and how many more scientific reports will it take, before governments finally recognize fossil fuels as the real culprits of human suffering felt across the world?” said Namrata Chowdhary of 350.org.
The main objective of the report is to wean the global economy from fossil fuels and shift to low or zero carbon energy sources, from solar and wind to nuclear, hydro and hydrogen. .
This transition is facilitated by the fact that renewable energy is now cheaper than energy produced by fossil fuels in most markets.
The IPCC also details ways to reduce the demand for oil, gas and coal, whether by making buildings more energy efficient or by encouraging lifestyle changes, such as eating less beef and not stealing. the other side of the world for a vacation or a business meeting.
With intense political wrangling over the high-level political summary, some fear the message has been watered down.
“The climate crisis is accelerating and fossil fuels are the main driver. Any mitigation report that does not emphasize this fact is negating the very science that the IPCC is committed to,” Nikki said. Reisch of the Center for International Environmental Law.
The report’s findings will feed into the UN political negotiations, which will resume in November in Egypt at COP 27.
© 2022 AFP