Why farmers are forcing climate change into the spotlight

11 October, 2018, 20:15 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Catherine McKenna

The report also says in order to limit global warming, governments around the world must take "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". You know, which group drew it.

Where Has The Warning Come From?

The IPCC, the UN's top climate panel, issued the report from Incheon, Republic of Korea, where for the past week, hundreds of scientists and government representatives have been pouring over thousands of inputs to paint a picture of what could happen to the planet and its inhabitants with global warming of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Is It A Big Deal?

A major report prepared by the United Nations has called for "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society".

The State Department on Saturday released a statement saying it appreciates the "hard work of the scientists and experts who authored the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C under considerable time pressure" and the agency's engagement with other members of the panel to finalize the special report by accepting the report from its authors and approving its Summary for Policymakers.

It furthers the Paris Agreement of 2015, where and aim of limiting global temperature rises to "well below" 2C was set. "The next few years are probably the most important in our history", she said.

How Can Cuts Be Achieved?

At the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, worldwide leaders agreed to keep global warming "well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels" with the hopes to limit this to just 1.5°C. For Canada, that means emissions would need to fall to a maximum of 385 million tonnes a year.

They will also require considerable political engagement globally, as will reducing the amount of carbon being emitted.


"Examples of actions include shifting to low- or zero-emission power generation, such as renewables; changing food systems, such as diet changes away from land-intensive animal products; electrifying transport and developing "green infrastructure", such as building green roofs, or improving energy efficiency by smart urban planning, which will change the layout of many cities", the report said. Losing the ice would tremendously increase the Arctic's warming, which is already at least twice the global average rate. "If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences...." Global sea levels rose 17cm in the 20th century.

In addition, insects and plants will be almost twice as likely to lose half of their habitat if global temperatures rose by 2°C as compared to if they went up by 1.5°C. He says right here in the east we can look out our own windows to see the impacts of global warming.

A half a degree doesn't sound like much but whether it is coral reefs, crops, floods or the survival of species, everyone and everything is far better off in a world that keeps below 1.5C.

Clearly, that deceivingly small half-degree difference has the potential to bring about significantly worse effects.

Hare noted: "The advantages of early action are made stark in this report - especially regarding the sustainable development benefits, around poverty alleviation, health and access to clean energy".

What Has Been The Reaction So Far?

According to him, settling for two degrees would be a death sentence for people in many parts of Africa."The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods that will be spared."A hotter Africa is a hungrier Africa", he said".

"But doing so would require unprecedented changes". But it is change on a scale we have never experienced before: "There is no historical precedent for the scale of the necessary transitions, in particular in a socially and economically sustainable way".

To ensure the planet is liveable, global Carbon dioxide emissions have to be reduced by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and renewables must provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050 to meet targets.

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