Our Takeaways from the IPCC Report
A “code red for humanity” that should “sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.” That’s how United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described a 3,500-page report released this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
While we encourage everyone to spend time with this landmark report, here are our top takeaways:
Earth is on track to cross the critical 1.5°C threshold within 20 years
Earth’s climate is warming faster than scientists previously thought, and even if nations sharply cut greenhouse gas emissions, total global warming will reach 1.5°C within the next 20 years. The Paris Agreement aims to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, a critical threshold that could prevent much worse effects of exceeding 2°C of warming. (The New York Times, NPR)
Warming is ‘unequivocally’ due to human activity
“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land,” causing widespread and rapid changes, the report said. “Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened (since the IPCC’s last major assessment in 2014).”
We can still prevent the most dire climate hazards
We must take drastic action now in order to stave off the most dire climate outcomes. Doing so will require a coordinated effort among nations to rapidly shift away from fossil fuels and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. The timing of this report is likely to influence the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, and two forthcoming chapters expected to be released next year will explore the most promising strategies to limit future warming. (BBC, Vox)
At Verdis Group, we work hard every day to help our clients measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Building on our wide-ranging expertise in this area, we are excited to launch our Net Zero Pathway — a brand new service tool that will help our clients employ science-based targets in their journey to carbon neutrality.
The IPCC report reaffirms the importance of reaching Net Zero by mid-century. If you’re ready to put the Net Zero Pathway to use in your organization, we are ready to help. Read and download more information about our Net Zero Pathway below, then reach out to discuss your organization’s needs. The time to act is now!