The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uncovered a new timeline for a complete environmental disaster. At our current rate of fossil fuel production, we have about three years until the surge in extreme weather events becomes irreversible. To avoid this, we need to work towards halving our current global emissions by 2030, with the next few years being critical.
The benchmark for this change is the average world temperature. Since 1975, this temperature has crept up 0.2°C per decade, affecting the world’s natural biodiversity. The ice shelves have decreased, while large land areas have become arid and unfarmable. Entire ecosystems have begun to break down as algae, and other basic organisms struggle to grow. We are in the midst of the ‘sixth mass extinction’; species today are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they would without human interference. Only five times in our planet’s history have so many species and so much biodiversity been lost — the last was when the dinosaurs were wiped out.
At our current rate of emissions, the IPCC predicts that by 2030 it’d be much harder to limit the rise in the average global temperature. However, the report also notes that low-emission technology has continued to decrease in cost since 2010, while policy and law coverage surrounding emissions have spread since the 1990s.
The problem now lies in helping developing nations achieve their low-emissions policies while tightening the restrictions around emissions to align with the new predicted models in the report. Financial backing for these products needs to increase by five to six times the current investment amount for this to happen. We need to adapt and accelerate climate change, and we need to do it by supporting all nations in their access to sustainable energy resources.
Sources: IPCC, Populationmatters.org
About the author - meet Earthan James McCulloch
James is a literary student and environmental enthusiast who likes thinking about the better futures we could have (and those we best avoid). When not playing with other people’s dogs or taking long, mindful walks, he’s usually found reading and writing, often at the local library. You can check him out on his blog for something a little different, where he talks about all things literary or otherwise.