Global warming: only one point five!

The latest report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is shrouded in mystery: the secretariat of the group requests not to refer to the text before its official release, because “the report is undergoing revisions from the draft to the final version; this is due to thousands of comments on the review, and due to the fact that the authors assess the latest data…” experts wrote. 

Let us remind that the Paris Agreement on which the countries agreed in 2015 had set two goals for the participant-states: to keep the increase in the global average temperature below 2°C above the pre-industrial level and to undertake efforts to limit the temperature rise within 1.5°C. At the Paris Conference, governments instructed the IPCC to come up with a report that would assess the difference between these two goals in terms of impact on human life, the economy. and the worldwide environment. 

The document has been developed but, according to the IPCC procedure it should pass several assessment stages. In particular, early this summer, the outline of the latest version was sent for review to the governments of the countries. “This is the last stage in the process of the IPCC consideration. The text draft is completed, and its key conclusions reworked in the outline for decision-makers,” Valerie Masson-Delmotte, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group says. “The report should undergo an open, reliable, and transparent process of expert examination. This should provide for an utmost accurate, comprehensive, and verifiable report.”

After processing the politicians’ comments, in early September the text of the report should be presented in South Korea. It is planned that the final version of the report will be the key scientific input at the Talanoa Dialogue which will take place within the frame of the UN Conference on the Climate Change in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. 

By the data of the text version of the IPCC report which journalists have got, the landmark for the countries should be the containment of warming within one and a half degrees. The global temperature increase will reach 1.5 ° C already by 2040.

Among the “hot” data brought by international experts is the temperature forecast for 2040. For the first time ever, the IPCC has drawn on it. According to the new data, the temperature will go up for more than 5ºC in some regions; along with that, in some areas the amount of sediments is going up dramatically (and in some places, it is going down). In some areas their amount is increasing by10% or more, which will cause devastating floods. “The sea level rise will adversely affect human, plant and animal life, and lead to the extinction of species,” experts wrote.  

The Report speaks about the necessity of a stronger international cooperation for the temperature retention. To achieve the 1.5° goal, the plan of “zero emissions” will have to be implemented approximately by 2050.  But this will require fundamental reorganization of the industry and the economy in addition to the technology in the sphere of renewable energy sources.  

The European Union is ready for “zero emissions,” experts state. But such “fast-growing” countries as China and India, and also such as Russia, where the energy policy is an “indetermination point,” remain a huge source of emissions.

Parties to the Climate Change Convention will discuss concrete measures on the containment of global temperatures in December, at the 24th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - COP24. “The new report is likely to serve as an incentive for ambitions and more vital steps in the field of climate change,” experts of the IPCC hope. 

“The major issue is not that 1.5°C or 2°,” Marcela Gomez, Friends of the Earth Columbia, says. “When we are talking about 1.5 or more, we must first of all go back to the political content of the issue. Consumption models in the North (industrially developed countries) are still remaining untouchable. Nothing will change in this situation. It is unacceptable that under the cover of clean development mechanisms the destruction of nature would be financed, as we can see it in the cases of hydroelectric power stations construction causing destruction of the territories inhabited by indigenous peoples…”   

In their Position representatives of the Russian Social Ecological Union urge Russia to ratify the Paris Agreement. “At present, national goals of the countries on greenhouse gas emissions do not follow the ‘2°C’ way,” they stress. “To limit global warming by two degrees, these goals should be strengthened by 20-30%. The national goals had been developed three years ago, and many changes have occurred during the past time; in particular, RESs became cheaper, global emissions got stabilized, and abandonment of the coal-based power production has started. We should take these conditions into account and use them for reconsideration of the goals of the ‘Stimulating Dialogue – 2018’ which had been agreed within the framework of COP 23. The Dialogue-2018 should go beyond the frames of official countries’ presentations and employ all sources of information.”