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IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C urges stronger action on climate

A landmark scientific report released today assesses the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5 Deg C and shows the critical need for urgent action. Approved by 195 governments, the report underscores the narrow window of opportunity we have to move from the dangerous path the world is on.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Deg C will guide governments’ decision-making on climate actions moving forward. It makes clear that 1.5 Deg C is safer than 2 Deg C in terms of climate impacts.
To avoid overshooting 1.5 Deg C, it is imperative that the ambition of current climate and energy policies needs to be ramped up substantially. Taking action on climate change would lead to the achievement of various Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty eradication. In the light of this, WWF South Africa calls on the South African government, cities, businesses, civil society and individuals to commit to realising a carbon neutral South African economy by 2050.
Dr Prabhat Upadhyaya, Senior Policy Analyst, Climate and Energy WWF-SA:
“To realise the best-case scenario as defined in the IPCC report, tough decisions are needed. Limiting global warming to 1.5 Deg C will require global CO2 emissions to start declining well before 2030. This would give us a chance of achieving a 45% decline in the next 12 years from 2010 CO2 emission levels with the ultimate aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
“In all four model pathways illustrated by the IPCC, the global share of renewable energy in electricity needs to be ramped up substantially. For the best-case scenario, the generation of primary energy from coal by 2030 will have to decline globally by 78% from 2010 levels. The question is not if we should wean our energy system off coal but how to do so – in a way that is in line with current science and increases flexibility in the energy system to realise a just transition.
“More than ever, strong political will and leadership is needed to pursue climate resilient development. This calls for just, rapid and far-reaching transitions, in energy, land, urban and infrastructure, and industrial systems.”
Kgaugelo Chiloane, Senior Manager: Climate Change Programme WWF-SA:
“Climate related impacts and risks for natural and human systems are higher for global warming of 1.5 Deg C than at present, but substantially lower than the 2 Deg C. Limiting warming to 1.5 Deg C will lower the impacts on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems and maintain the ecosystem services that they provide. By 2100, in terms of sea level rise, this translates into a 10 cm difference between 1.5 Deg C and 2 Deg C. 

“In South Africa, climate and global warming related impacts on natural and human systems are already being observed, particularly on various inland and ocean ecosystems and the ecosystems services they provide. Given the IPCC findings, the choices and implementation of suitable adaptation measures will be critical in South Africa’s transition towards low carbon and climate-resilient development.”
Dr Stephen Cornelius, WWF’ International’s chief advisor on climate change: “Current country pledges to cut emissions are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 Deg C and you can’t negotiate with science. Every half a degree matters to people and nature – this is the reality of our warming world. Without rapid and deep cuts to carbon emissions, we will face more severe impacts to ecosystems. The longer we delay tackling emissions, the greater the climate impacts – some of which will be irreversible – and the more expensive the solutions will need to be in future.

IPCC special report on global warming
The IPCC special report on global warming will detail what is required to keep temperature rises below 1.5 Deg C

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