5 important takeaways from the most important climate report

Published by Ocean Generation \ October 9, 2018 1:56 pm

 

The IPCC report is seriously alarming, but there is still hope: 

The science heavy 33 page report released this week, is the single most significant warning about the climate. But it is not totally unhopeful. With a combination of collective cooperation and support, we can begin to build a brighter future. Damage is already done, but we can make our new path cleaner.

 

Every little helps: 

The report goes to great lengths to point out the differences between allowing temperatures to rise towards 2 degrees C above pre-industrial times, or keeping them nearer to 1.5. A half a degree doesn’t sound like much but whether it is coral reefs, crops, floods or the survival of species, everyone and everything is far better off in a world that keeps below 1.5C.

 

It’s not option A, B or C; it’s option A+B+C

The headlines about cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 and getting almost all of our electricity from renewables by the middle of the century, are all very well but a key point of this report is that successfully limiting climate change to 1.5C is not just down to cutting emissions or making lifestyle changes or planting trees – it is all of that and then some, acting in concert at the same time.

“All options need to be exercised in order to achieve 1.5C,” said Prof Jim Skea, an IPCC co-chair.

“We can make choices about which options and trade off a bit between them, but the idea you can leave anything out is not possible.”

 

We don’t need to re-invent the wheel to limit warming

There is a lot of faith put in technology that it can solve many of our environmental problems, especially climate change.

This report says that the world doesn’t have to come up with some magic machines to curb climate change – we’ve already got all the tech we need.

The report says that carbon will have to be sucked out of the air by machines and stored underground, and that these devices exist already.

Billions of trees will have to be planted – and people may have to make hard choices between using land for food or using it for energy crops.

But really wacky ideas, such as blocking out the Sun, or adding iron to the oceans have been dismissed by this IPCC report.

 

It’s (partly) down to you!

Where this new study from the IPCC differs from previous approaches is that it clearly links lifestyle choices with warming.

The report’s authors say that rapid changes must take place in four key parts of society:

  • energy generation
  • land use
  • cities
  • industry

Many people might think that they have little personal involvement with any of these – but the IPCC authors say that’s not the case.

“It’s not about remote science; it’s about where we live and work,” said Dr Debra Roberts.

“The energy we buy, we must be putting pressure on policymakers to make options available so that I can use renewable energy in my everyday life.”

Cutting energy demand by using less of it is a highly effective step.

Similarly being aware of what you eat, where it comes from, thinking about how you travel, having a greater interest in all these things can impact energy use.

This greater awareness, and the changes it might inspire, could even be good for you.

“Frankly, the more we are prepared to make changes to behavioural patterns that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the less we would need to rely later on more difficult options that we don’t yet fully understand like carbon dioxide removal,” said Prof Jim Skea.

“There are lots of reasons other than climate change for shifting diets. If we changed to fulfil health recommendations, we’d all live longer and bounce around much more and have nicer lives and we’d also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

More stories

Hack-Diary:
Day 1
More

Hack-Diary
Day 2
More

Hack-Diary
Day 3
More

Hack-Diary
Day 4
More

'Influencer'
partnerships
More

2019 Critical Year for Climate More

Joss Stone
x Oceans
More

Beyond a Click More

Project:
Dadlihack
More

The Big
Catch
More

Island Nation
Defense
More

60 Young St. Lucians
Tell their Climate Stories
Through Documentary Workshops
More

#MyOceans
Covers
More

The Last
Straw
More

Daily Mail:
100 Most Influential Women
More

Small Islands are some of the most vulnerable nations to climate change.
See our programs helping to adapt and preserve communities.
More

Digital activism is a form of activism that uses the Internet
and digital media as key platforms for mass mobilisation.
More

Plagued Waves More

Night of Ideas 2019 More

Music is an incredibly powerful vehicle
that can engage us all with climate change.
More

#RewritingFashion in Copehagen More

Hacking Storms
in Antigua
More

Arts for Education.
Blue Dot Generation.
More

Christiana
Figueres
More

Calling Artists
#MyOceans
More

Marie Claire
Future Shapers 2018
More

How the world got
hooked on Palm Oil
More

Do Good With
Burritos
More

#RiffSustainably More

My time at
#Dadlihack
by Reshul Narhari
More

Combating Climate Change
at Dadlihack 2019
by Andrew Doumith
More

#RiffSustainably
at MIDI Music
More

The Dadlihack
Experience
More

Micro plastics:
an invisible army
waging a war on humanity
More