Latest IPCC Report: 1.5°C is slipping away

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has this week published the third part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change.

This latest report follows on from previous reports outlining the evidence (Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis – Aug 2021) and the impacts (Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – Feb 2022). A fourth report (AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2022) is due to be published in September 2022.

The highlights from the report:

  1. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission continue to rise globally across all major sectors, but regional contributions differ widely with wealthier countries emitting more.
  2. We are not on track to limit warming to 1.5 °C, even though some GHG emissions have been avoided due to consistent expansion of climate policies and laws.
  3. Projected GHG emissions from existing and currently planned fossil fuel infrastructure will lead to warming up to 2°C. There can be no new fossil fuel exploration and extraction.
  4. Global GHG emissions are projected to peak by 2025, but this assumes immediate action is taken.
  5. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C involves rapid and deep emission reductions in all sectors, including major transitions needed in energy.
  6. Net-zero GHG emissions from the industrial sector are challenging but possible.
  7. Urban areas can play a critical role, including low emission construction and building retrofitting.
  8. Transport emissions can be limited through reducing demand and introducing low-GHG emissions technologies. We need more emphasis on public and active transport.
  9. Tree planting won’t save us. AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use) mitigation options, when sustainably implemented, can deliver large-scale GHG emission reductions and enhanced removals, but cannot fully compensate for delayed action in other sectors.
  10. The deployment of CDR (Carbon Dioxide Removal) is necessary, including ecosystem restoration, reforestation and soil carbon sequestration.
  11. We need human lifestyle changes. This requires systemic changes across all of society.
  12. The global economic benefit of limiting warming to 2°C exceeds the cost of mitigation.
  13. Action must be equitable. This is critical to sustainable development. There is a strong link between sustainable development, vulnerability and climate risks. Limited economic, social and institutional resources often result in high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity.
  14. There are mitigation options which are feasible to deploy at scale in the near term. Low emission technologies continue to fall in cost.
  15. Regulatory and economic instruments to support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation need to be scaled up and applied more widely
  16. Not enough money is being invested to achieve mitigation goals across all sectors and regions.
  17. International cooperation is a critical enabler for achieving ambitious climate change mitigation goals.

Take a look at CIEEM’s Action 2030 work for more information on what we are doing as an Institute. You may also consider making your own pledge to take action.