On Monday, August 9th, a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was issued and delivers the starkest warnings yet. The latest findings, approved by 195 member states, deal with the physical science basis of climate change and the contribution of humans to that change.
Many world leaders, particularly those of the 50 countries said to be at greatest risk have reacted strongly to the report, with the U.K. Prime Minister stating that this is a “wake up call to the world.” The UN’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has labeled it a “code red for humanity.”
No region on Earth has escaped the impacts of the climate crisis. The report states that “human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.” It clearly expresses that in the not-too-distant future, heatwaves, heavy rainfall, and droughts will become more common and extreme.
The assessment also reveals that levels of CO2—the primary driver of global warming—were higher in 2019 than at any other time in “at least 2 million years.” It adds that levels of methane and nitrous oxide—the second and third biggest drivers, respectively—were higher in 2019 than at any time in “at least 800,000 years.”
Under the Paris Agreement in 2015, over 190 governments agreed that a global warming limit should be set at 1.5°C to 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels. However, the IPCC report states that, under all scenarios, this target will not be achievable. There is a real risk that both targets will be broken this century unless huge reductions in carbon emissions can be realized.
Later this year, the U.K., in partnership with Italy, will host COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. It is considered more vital than ever that firm agreement to carbon emission reduction targets can be put in place with a matter of urgency.
The new report backs up the many recent calls for a “green recovery” as a solution to the economic instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has voiced that to achieve carbon reduction targets, all governments need to change their economies. He went on to say, “This is a critical decade for action, and COP26 in Glasgow must be a turning point in this crisis.”
GreenEarth Cleaning has long made a commitment to protecting the planet, not just through the gentler and safer composition of its environmentally non-toxic solution but also through the reductions in energy and water usage achieved from using the GreenEarth System. We will continue to strive for further improvement in the technology that we are responsible for, the relationships we manage, and our own actions in terms of sustainability targets.
We will also continue to share ideas and solutions that help to inform individuals to make a difference to help the world achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
There are many examples of how we can make a difference, by adjusting our behavior. The actions range from finding alternatives to travel to eating less meat and dairy to using your voice to challenge your local government or parliamentary representatives to affect change on a national level.
The Grantham Institute recently published a guide on “9 Things You Can Do About Climate Change.”
Yes, overall there’s a lot of information to take on board from the IPCC, but every small step in the right direction has a positive impact.
By: Garry Knox