Societal changes needed for global warming

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India could witness deadly heatwaves if the planet's temperature goes up by two degrees Celsius, according to a report released Monday by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

It concludes that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current pace, coastal flooding could become intense and droughts severe by 2040.

The landmark Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 by 195 nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), included the aim of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change by "holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels".

The Indian government urged all countries including the United States to act like a global community when it comes to fighting climate change and not deny the real impacts many parts of the world are already facing. The reference period 1850-1900 is used to approximate pre-industrial levels.

In order to limit warming at 1.5°C, the world will have to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 from the 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, it said.

Even with a temperature increase of 1.5C, coral reefs are expected to decline by 70-90 per cent.

She added: "The insurance sector does have a keen interest in attaining 1.5°C and limiting temperature rise to no more than that given everything that is at risk on both the product side and the investment side".

"Limiting global warming would also give people and ecosystems more room to adapt and remain below relevant risk thresholds". The report also examines pathways available to limit warming to 1.5 °C, what it would take to achieve them and what the consequences could be.

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Limiting warming to 1.5C is possible but will require fast and far-reaching changes to power generation, industry, transport, buildings and potential shifts in lifestyle such as eating less meat. Global emissions need to be cut be 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and renewables will need to make up at least 85% of electricity production by 2050 with coal use down to almost zero. Global CO2 emissions may need to peak around 2020. "It is now clear that we lost more than 10 years already and the question is about how disastrous will it be in the end". Problematically, the effectiveness of the negative emissions techniques that would be relied upon in such a scenario is unproven on a large scale.

Dale Marshall, national program manager at Environmental Defence, said the ongoing political fight over carbon pricing and criticism of Liberal energy policies is scaring the government into being more timid about its climate plan, while the report shows being timid is not going to cut it.

But President Trump has long-criticized climate change measures.

The report was prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC working groups.

The special report on global warming by a United Nations body has set the tone for the upcoming climate conference in Poland where countries will now have to make efforts to align their pledges with the 1.5-degree celsius goal - a more stringent target than the existing agreement to limit average temperature rise within 2 degree celsius by 2100.

Some scientists who worked on the report say "there is no way to mitigate climate change" without getting rid of it.

Global Warming of 1.5 °C is the first in a series of Special Reports to be produced in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Cycle.

Areas like sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean would still suffer from droughts, but farms would be able to grow more food than they could with 2 degrees of warming.

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