A United Nations panel on climate change (IPCC) says time is getting shorter to reverse global warming.
It says we need to cut emissions by half before 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
The report says we may reach the designated 1.5 degrees celsius above the pre-industrial level in the next dozen years if we don’t start taking affirmative action on the environment now.
“The report has sent a very clear message that if we don’t act now and have substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions over the next decade, we are really making it very challenging to impossible to keep warming below 1.5 degrees,” said the IPCC’s Jim Skea
It may not seem like much – 1.5 degrees – but the report notes that at 2 degrees (above-preindustrial level) 10 million more people would be at risk of rising seas and a large sector of the world’s population would suffer water shortages.
It goes on to say it’s not enough to promise to put more electric cars on the road or mothball coal plants…that a massive rethinking of global energy consumption is needed in the next ten years.
That said, some cities have been leading the way in cutting emissions. Some have been competing with each other in the deployment of electric cars and other technology while sharing knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. For instance, in 2016, Los Angeles cut its emissions by 11 per cent, the equivalent of pulling 700,000 cars off the road.