‘The climate time-bomb is ticking’: The world is running out of time to avoid catastrophe, new UN report warns
By Laura Paddison, CNN
The world is rapidly approaching catastrophic levels of heating
with international climate goals set to slip out of reach
unless immediate and radical action is taken, according to a new UN-backed report.
“The climate time-bomb is ticking,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a statement to mark the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s synthesis report
on Monday. “Humanity is on thin ice – and that ice is melting fast,” he added.
The report draws on the findings of hundreds of scientists to provide a comprehensive assessment of how the climate crisis is unfolding.
The science is not new – the report pulls together what the IPCC has already set out in a cluster
of other reports
over the last few years – but it paints a very stark picture of where the world is heading.
“This report is the most dire and troubling assessment yet of the spiraling climate impacts we all face if systemic changes are not made now,” Sara Shaw, program coordinator at Friends of the Earth International, said in a statement.
The impacts of planet-warming pollution are already more severe than expected and we are hurtling towards increasingly dangerous and irreversible consequences, the report says.
While the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels is still possible, the report noted, the pathway to achieving it is rapidly closing as global production of planet-heating pollution continues to increase
– emissions grew by nearly 1% last year.
Concentrations of carbon pollution in the atmosphere are at their highest level for more than two million years and the rate of temperature rise over the last half a century is the highest in 2,000 years.
The impacts of the climate crisis continue to fall hardest on poorer, vulnerable countries that have done least to cause it.